Why is Zaheer Abbas confident Pakistan will win the Asia Cup?

Zaheer Abbas confident Pakistan will win Asia Cup cricket

Zaheer Abbas: “The way Pakistan are playing these days I believe that they would be the favourites for the Asia Cup title”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Legendary Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas believes the national team are favourites to win the upcoming Asia Cup.

Explaining why he is so confident about this, Abbas pointed out that Pakistan have been in red-hot form as of late as they defeated Australia and Zimbabwe in a T20 tri-series tournament. They then went on to whitewash Zimbabwe 5-0 in the ODI series that followed.

“The way Pakistan are playing these days I believe that they would be the favourites for the Asia Cup title,” he was quoted as saying by The News International. “Then there would be India and I think that the main battle for supremacy is going to be fought between these two teams.”

Despite backing Pakistan to go all the way, Abbas warned the national team not to get complacent as it could lead to their downfall.

“Limited-overs cricket has a tendency to throw up surprises, which is why I would advice our team to not take even the weakest of sides for granted in the tournament,” he said.

Pakistan will kick off their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong in Dubai on September 16. While Hong Kong surprised many by triumphing in the qualifying tournament, Abbas believes they won’t stand a chance against Pakistan.

“I don’t see Hong Kong creating any trouble for Pakistan,” he said.

While the 71-year-old doesn’t see Hong Kong as a threat, he admitted that he is looking forward to Pakistan’s clash with India on September 19.

“That is going to be the most important game of the tournament. Everybody likes to watch Pakistan-India games as they produce high-voltage action,” he said.

India will be without captain Virat Kohli as they have rested him for the tournament, but Abbas insisted that Pakistan should still be wary of their arch-rivals as they possess plenty of talented players.

“Kohli is India’s biggest match-winner and his team is certainly going to miss him in the Asia Cup,” he said. “That said, the Indians have some really good ODI players in their squad.”

When asked which team could spring a major surprise in the tournament, Abbas said: “Apart from Pakistan and India, there is also Sri Lanka who will be fancying their chances. But personally, I believe that Bangladesh have the best chance to upset the applecart. They have a highly improved team and could do well in the event.”

The Sialkot native added that he expects every match in the Asia Cup to be a high-scoring encounter, and thus feels that Pakistan should be aiming to score 300 runs in every match.

“I expect batting paradises both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The wickets are going to be flat and hence we could see many high-scoring matches,” he said. “Pakistan should make it a habit to post 300 plus totals in the 50-over format. That puts extra pressure on your opponents. Any total below 300 is going to be tough to defend in batting-friendly conditions.”