Asia Cup: What did we learn about India and Pakistan?
The Asia Cup 2018 came to an end on Friday with defending champions India sealing a thrilling encounter against Bangladesh to retain the crown. India won by 3 wickets, in the end, chasing a target of 223 runs. A lot happened throughout Asia Cup with all six teams giving us plenty to chew upon. Here we decode the key findings of the tournament.
Pakistan were the biggest disappointment
Looking back, talks about Pakistan being pre-tournament favorites were simply based on them winning the ICC 2017 Champions Trophy. Pakistan were nowhere near to the level expected out of them. They underperformed in most of the matches and their batting was a serious let down. Wins against just Hong Kong and Afghanistan saw Pakistan bow out sheepishly. Further, Sarfraz Ahmed's captaincy was below par.
Bangladesh need to be more clinical
For reaching the second multiple-nation tournament final in 2018, credit must be given to Bangladesh. They have the knack to get matches down the wire, but it is the final hurdle that the Tigers are unable to cross. Bangladesh's batting like Pakistan lacked the steel and they suffered due to the same. If they sort their batting, then expect them to be more clinical.
Afghanistan the real powerhouse
Afghanistan gave us some amazing memories and also showcased their rise as an ODI unit. The Afghans were superb throughout with their spinners leading the show. Further, in this tournament, their batting really stood out. A new face contributed in every game. They drew the Super 4 match against India, which was essentially a 'victory' for them. They played a fearless brand of cricket.
India tick off the boxes, but worries remain
For India, many things went right especially the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. The team, too, showed intent under pressure situations. The top order got runs and that was, once again, assuring, Spinners played their part and the two premier pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, displayed enormous control. But it's the middle order blemishes that remain the worry for Men in Blue.