Asia Biggest Cricketing Tournament that commenced in the last week of August 2022 (27th of August). This edition of the Asia Cup had to go through a lot of issues. Firstly it was originally scheduled to happen in July 2020. But owing to the Covid-19 pandemic back then it was postponed to 2021. Then again in 2021 due to fixture conjunction, it was postponed to 2022.
Asia Cup 2022 has already offered us some thrills and shocks and the tournament is fast hurtling towards the Super 4 stage with teams vying in right earnest.
Super 4s – who’s in, who’s not
Yesterday we saw the group stage of the Asia Cup conclude, with the match between Pakistan and Hong Kong. We now get on to the next stage of the Cup -The Super 4.
Let us now take a look at the teams that progressed to the second stage of the cup, in order of the time of qualification.
The first team to qualify for the Super 4s was Afghanistan. It has have come out all guns blazing. They have shattered all thoughts of them being the “underdogs” by winning both of their group matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
An interesting thing to note is that they have not only won against these teams, they have won by huge margins, they have HAMMERED their opposition! This Afghanistan team looks extremely powerful and poses a big threat to each and every team in the tournament.
Afghanistan seem to be going on the right track and are strong contenders for the Cup. They have announced themselves in style in the Asia Cup and they will look to carry on with the same throughout the tournament.
2. India :
India too have won both of their matches in the group stage, against Pakistan and Hong Kong. They have played well so far and will look to extend their winning streak in the Super 4s and possibly win what would be their 8th Cup.
In their first match, India played against Pakistan – the El Classico, the ultimate rivalry. In a match befitting the hype, India sealed a tense win and won their subsequent game against Hongkong much more comfortably.
However, there are a few chinks in their armour, such as KL Rahul’s form, Avesh Khan’s poor run, etc. which they will look to improve ahead of the Super 4s stage. Despite all these challenges, India are one of the favourites to win this edition of the Asia Cup, which they will surely look to achieve. With their new aggressive style of play, India is a changed, better side, one that has strong chances to come out as champions.
3. Sri Lanka :
Unlike the above teams, Sri Lanka have won and lost one game each in the group stages. They went down to Afghanistan and how! They had possibly one of the worst starts to their Asia Cup campaign but they managed to secure a nervy win over Bangladesh, which saw them through to the next stage.
Cricket’s newest rivalry – SL vs BAN, was held the day before and it was a thrilling contest, which saw Sri Lanka pip Bangladesh in the very last over. Both sides performed well, but dropped catches, no balls and slow over rate cost Bangladesh, paving the way for the Lankan lions to enter into the Super 4s.
Sri Lanka are a good side, but have plenty of problems which were exposed in the league phase. They will now look to mend their ways and play better in this next stage. Surely, they are a better team than they seem to be at the moment and hopefully we shall see them at their best in the future fixtures of this Cup.
4. Pakistan :
Like Sri Lanka, Pakistan have won and lost a game each in their group stage. They were already plagued with injury concerns before the start of the Cup, but they managed to take it deep against India in their first match, courtesy a good all round performance.
It was the slow over rate that cost them. In their second match against Hong Kong, Pakistan simply went all out. They batted superbly and then their bowlers ran riot, as none of the Hong Kong batsmen reached double figures.
In short, they demolished the Hong Kong side. With such display of attacking cricket, Pakistan is definitely one of the contenders to win the Cup. They would look to emulate this style of play as the tournament goes forward.
At the end the Super 4s are here, so are the 4 teams that have qualified! The fixtures have already been decided and hopefully we get to see some thrilling, edge-of-the-seat games in this stage of the tournament!