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5 Players To Watch Out For In The 2022 Asia Cup

Rashid Khan and KL Rahul
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The 2022 Asia Cup gets underway from the 27th of August in the UAE as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong battle it out for continental supremacy. The Asia Cup is the most prestigious cricketing tournament in the world outside of the ICC events, and the six teams will be using this competition to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

Some of the finest T20 players in the world will be in action over the next two weeks in Dubai and Sharjah.

Here are five cricketers to watch out for at the 2022 Asia Cup.

1. Suryakumar Yadav (India)

 

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Suryakumar Yadav has emerged as one of the world’s premier T20 batters over the past year, rising to number two in the ICC T20 rankings following his performances for the Indian cricket team. The Mumbai star has ridiculous numbers for someone who has played 21 T20Is, averaging 37 at a strike rate of 175 with a high score of 117 that came against England last month. Yadav is one of the few players in world cricket that can take on pace and spin and play shorts all around the ground, and he will play an invaluable role for Team India through the middle and death overs in the Asia Cup.

2. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

 

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Rashid Khan is the most valuable T20 player on the planet who can single-handedly turn a game on its head with his performances. Khan is by far and away the most dangerous bowler in T20 cricket with his speed and mystery, but the Afghanistan captain has also improved his batting in recent times and could be considered a genuine all-rounder at number seven due to his hitting prowess. Khan has already tasted silverware in 2022 by helping the Gujarat Titans win the IPL in season 15, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the leg-spinner do the same for his country, taking Afghanistan all the way to the final of the Asia Cup.

3. Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

 

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Leg-spinners who can turn the ball both ways at significant speed are one of the most potent weapons in T20 cricket, and Wanindu Hasaranga will be Sri Lanka’s biggest x-factor in the upcoming Asia Cup. The all-rounder was the second-highest wicket-taker in the most recent edition of the IPL for RCB – taking 26 scalps in 16 matches – and is in the top 10 of the ICC T20 bowler rankings. Hasaranga will receive plenty of assistance from the turning tracks in the UAE and could wreak havoc for the opposition alongside Sri Lankan spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Praveen Jayawickrama through the middle overs.

4. Babar Azam (Pakistan)

 

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Babar Azam, the number one ranked T20 batter in the world, has dominated the shortest format over the past few years for Pakistan. Azam has been supremely consistent at the top of the order for Pakistan and finished as the highest scorer in the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, amassing 303 runs at an average of 60. The skipper has formed a dangerous opening partnership at the top of the order with Mohammed Rizwan for Pakistan, and the pair could lead the team to their first Asia Cup title in a decade in the UAE in 2022.

5. KL Rahul (India)

 

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Team India welcome the return of KL Rahul to the T20I setup in the 2022 Asia Cup after the opener spent over three months on the sidelines due to a groin injury. Rahul looked rusty on his comeback to the ODI side in Zimbabwe, and the vice-captain will need some more match practice in the Asia Cup to get back to his best ahead of the World Cup in Australia in October. It will also be interesting to see how Rahul adapts his game to India’s new style of playing T20 cricket under Rahul Dravid. In the IPL, Rahul usually adopts a more cautious, anchor-style role for the Lucknow Super Giants. However, the opener will have to increase his intent and attacking instincts for the Men in Blue as India have implemented a more aggressive approach under the new regime in 2022.

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