Curtain-Raiser Asia Cup
Venue- Dubai International Stadium
Timings: Starts at 7.30 pm IST
Channel: Disney Hotstar
Prediction for the first match between Sri Lanka & Afghanistan.
In just a few hours from now, the bugle would be blown to kick-start a Tournament which has witnessed more ‘ downs ‘ than ‘ ups’ ever since its initiation. The Asia Cup plays fair between ODI & T20’s with every alternative year. So even though the test between the two Titans is a day away, the inaugural match promises much action.
Afghanistan is a team that can no longer be called ‘ minnows ‘. Srilanka is not the formidable force that they were once upon a time. Now that’s why the match-up would be exciting. Let’s discuss a few crucial factors before visiting the probable XI and prediction.
1. Pitch Report:
The pitch is ‘ true bounce ‘. It would arrive at the bat as the batsman may expect it to, and one can score runs. On the other hand, bowlers with a few tricks up their sleeves can deceive the batters into false shot-making.
The average score of the team batting first is 155 runs. Although it’s possible to contain the team batting second with such a score, it has been proven insufficient. As a result, 80 % of the matches played at this venue have been won by the team batting second.
With such averages, the best option would be to win the toss and choose to field.
There are ‘ null’ chances of any rain or precipitation, for that matter. However, the temperature would hover around 36 degrees, and the wind speed at 18km/ hour, encouraging lateral movement.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Mendis (wicketkeeper), Dasun Shanaka (captain), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad.
Players to watch out for:
Pathum Nissanka (SL):
Pathum Nissanka, a Sri Lanka hitter, scored 628 runs in only 23 Twenty20 Internationals. There have been five times when the right-handed hitter has reached the fifty-point mark, with a maximum of seventy-five on one occasion. Nissanka appears to be a technically proficient batter who can handle either spin or pace. During the first game, he would be the dangerous batsman for the Afghans.
Naveen-ul-Haq( AFG): The pacer for Afghanistan, Naveen-ul-Haq, might be a key contributor to his team’s victory over Sri Lanka. The right-arm pacer’s new ball swinging and slower ball variants are helpful in the final overs. He is the real threat that the Srilankan batters would look forward to mitigating.
Rashid Khan VS Wanindu Hasaranga.
None can refuse that the crowd would turn up to watch two magicians from either side. Rashid Khan VS Wanindu Hasaranga. The eight overs between them would tip the balance.
The team batting second has a 10% better chance of winning the match.