Asia Cup 2014 February 23, 2014

Misbah confident despite tough competition

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Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Pakistan's blend of experienced players and newcomers has had success and the team remains confident of successfully defending their Asia Cup title. Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh in the 2012 final, come to the tournament on the back of series wins over Sri Lanka and South Africa.

"The [Pakistan] team is in good shape," Misbah said. "Cricket is a confidence game and we have been playing well in the last three-four months. We have to do our basics right to have a good chance."

Misbah and Mohammad Hafeez have led Pakistan with the bat in the last 12 months, scoring in excess of thousand runs, and Ahmed Shehzad has not been far behind. Misbah was also confident that the relatively inexperienced group that includes Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali will give the team balance.

"Ahmed Shehzad has been part of our team for quite a while, he has been doing well," Misbah said. "He has improved. Sharjeel Khan had an average series, but he gave glimpses of being a good player, he can time the ball well. We are looking forward to see him develop into a good player.

"[Sohaib] Maqsood played well in South Africa and against Sri Lanka. With experienced players, few youngsters like Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti, they are putting some good scores. I am happy that it is a good, balanced unit. Youngsters are always contributing with the senior players."

Misbah said the competition in the Asia Cup was going to be tough, as all the teams understood the conditions. He also said Afghanistan, the first-timers in the tournament, were not to be taken lightly.

"All teams have ability to win against any side," he said. "It will be good competition. Last Asia Cup was witness of that. Bangladesh beat two big teams, they came close to us. You can expect any team can win against any team.

"Afghanistan are a new, exciting team. They can do anything on a given day. They are not experienced, but they give their 100%. They have players that can really challenge other teams."

With the 2015 World Cup less than a year away, this is Pakistan's opportunity to groom their team. "I think it is good for the team that there is a chance to improve as a group. Somewhere there is a knockout stage in these tournaments, so the competition level is there. You prepare yourself as a team so I think this is good preparation before the 2015 World Cup. These tournaments have their own importance."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY sidh78 on | February 25, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    @dear SL fans, SL is better than india outside SC(oversies)really? what a joke.india won CT in engaland,CB series in Aus, tri series & bi lateral series in westindies,T20 WC in SA,NestWest series in engaland, finalist in WC 2003 in SA,test series win in Eng,NZ,WI.draw series in SA,Aus in last few years.plz show me any team in SC which have such sucsess.what SL won oversies just tell me.in last 14 years SL not won a single series outside SL(not consider BD series.but there also SL strugle to win.BD team have bad luck otherwise they beat SL in 2 t20& 2 odi) india beat SL in every part of the world.in aus(remember hobart) in WI ,in ban.even india beat SL in SL in last four bi lateral series.last series india won 4-1 in SL. .but in this asia cup i think pak has most chance & second SL.because india have yong & inexperienced team.also not have dhoni raina yuvraj.without dhoni it is very tough for india becoz he is the best finisher in the world

  • POSTED BY on | February 25, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Pakistan's opposition will surely be glad to see Kamran and Malik back in the side. These two never score much runs and SL must be jumping with glee.

  • POSTED BY hellothereeveryone on | February 24, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    If you go by ranking India is favorite (especially in subcontinent conditions) but if you go by current form Pakistan are favorites. I feel it is going to be Pakistan bowling vs India batting unless Sri Lanka play really well and beat these arch rivals.

  • POSTED BY xylofon on | February 24, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Devastated to not see Nasir Jamshed but see people like Shoaib Malik, dinosaur Babar Azam and Bilawal Bhatti getting picked - especially considering we need a strong batting unit.

    I dont know if Haris Sohail is in but he is one of those future guys and the future is NOW. Not getting picked despite of good performances in the national team is not easy to forgive, (remember him against windies last year?). And that is just more than domestic a good domestic average we are talking about here.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    I am a truly sri lanken. And i'm not totally agreed the comment of 'SLisBestinEarth' . it is embarrassing. we can't underestimate any team. surely he can't be a real sri lankan fan. apologize from my friendly indian and pakisthani fans. i think game is on. next week will give the results.. Cheers..!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | February 24, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    @gurdit. I think you ve forgot ur white washes in nz sa

  • POSTED BY AkhilaDahanayake on | February 24, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @Murtamac, I see u havent been following cricket lately, otherwise u would know that BD pitches are not the same like other subcontinent pitches. I was following the SL vs PAK in UAE as well as SL vs BD in BD. So there's a difference in the pitches. About ur batting, actually when batting clicks, any team can dominate the opponents but that clicking dosent happen often dose it? And u are anyway giving a biased opinion while im giving an analysis of the situation.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 24, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    india are still favourites to win this asia cup without dhoni.Rohit sharma,Dhawan and kohli would be unstoppable on these flat pitches and jadeja and ashwin could be handy on turning pitches.even India's second best xi is good enough to beat pakistan.just take a look at it:- 1.gambhir 2.sehwag 3.pujara 4.yuvraj 5.k jadhav/uthappa 6.saurabh tiwary 7.rishi dhawan 8.harbhajan 9.mishra 10.zaheer 11.umesh indias bench strengh is good enough to beat Pakistan and sri lanka.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | February 24, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    @ AkhilaDahanayake - The conditions in Bangladesh are not too dissimilar to conditions all the Asian nations are familiar with including Pakistan, so your point is not valid on the batting requiring time to get used to BD conditions. Pak bowling is our strongest point. The batting when it clicks can be more than useful, Ahmed Shehzad is maturing at the right time and if he guards against complacency and over confidence, can be our best opening batsman since the great Saeed Anwer. With there being no Dhoni, I think PAK has to be the strongest side in the competition and I fancy Misbah and co to retain our title. Come on PAK!!

  • POSTED BY mum2550 on | February 24, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    What wrong has Sarfraz done for not making tos Asia Cup squad and the T20 WC. Just a few weeks back the entire media and cricketing greats were all praising his attacking attitude. I don't agree with inclusions of Kamran and Malik in T20 squad as they have been tested n failed a lot of times. Anyhow, good wishes with PAK team for both asia cup and WT20.

  • POSTED BY sidh78 on | February 25, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    @dear SL fans, SL is better than india outside SC(oversies)really? what a joke.india won CT in engaland,CB series in Aus, tri series & bi lateral series in westindies,T20 WC in SA,NestWest series in engaland, finalist in WC 2003 in SA,test series win in Eng,NZ,WI.draw series in SA,Aus in last few years.plz show me any team in SC which have such sucsess.what SL won oversies just tell me.in last 14 years SL not won a single series outside SL(not consider BD series.but there also SL strugle to win.BD team have bad luck otherwise they beat SL in 2 t20& 2 odi) india beat SL in every part of the world.in aus(remember hobart) in WI ,in ban.even india beat SL in SL in last four bi lateral series.last series india won 4-1 in SL. .but in this asia cup i think pak has most chance & second SL.because india have yong & inexperienced team.also not have dhoni raina yuvraj.without dhoni it is very tough for india becoz he is the best finisher in the world

  • POSTED BY on | February 25, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Pakistan's opposition will surely be glad to see Kamran and Malik back in the side. These two never score much runs and SL must be jumping with glee.

  • POSTED BY hellothereeveryone on | February 24, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    If you go by ranking India is favorite (especially in subcontinent conditions) but if you go by current form Pakistan are favorites. I feel it is going to be Pakistan bowling vs India batting unless Sri Lanka play really well and beat these arch rivals.

  • POSTED BY xylofon on | February 24, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Devastated to not see Nasir Jamshed but see people like Shoaib Malik, dinosaur Babar Azam and Bilawal Bhatti getting picked - especially considering we need a strong batting unit.

    I dont know if Haris Sohail is in but he is one of those future guys and the future is NOW. Not getting picked despite of good performances in the national team is not easy to forgive, (remember him against windies last year?). And that is just more than domestic a good domestic average we are talking about here.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    I am a truly sri lanken. And i'm not totally agreed the comment of 'SLisBestinEarth' . it is embarrassing. we can't underestimate any team. surely he can't be a real sri lankan fan. apologize from my friendly indian and pakisthani fans. i think game is on. next week will give the results.. Cheers..!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | February 24, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    @gurdit. I think you ve forgot ur white washes in nz sa

  • POSTED BY AkhilaDahanayake on | February 24, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @Murtamac, I see u havent been following cricket lately, otherwise u would know that BD pitches are not the same like other subcontinent pitches. I was following the SL vs PAK in UAE as well as SL vs BD in BD. So there's a difference in the pitches. About ur batting, actually when batting clicks, any team can dominate the opponents but that clicking dosent happen often dose it? And u are anyway giving a biased opinion while im giving an analysis of the situation.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 24, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    india are still favourites to win this asia cup without dhoni.Rohit sharma,Dhawan and kohli would be unstoppable on these flat pitches and jadeja and ashwin could be handy on turning pitches.even India's second best xi is good enough to beat pakistan.just take a look at it:- 1.gambhir 2.sehwag 3.pujara 4.yuvraj 5.k jadhav/uthappa 6.saurabh tiwary 7.rishi dhawan 8.harbhajan 9.mishra 10.zaheer 11.umesh indias bench strengh is good enough to beat Pakistan and sri lanka.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | February 24, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    @ AkhilaDahanayake - The conditions in Bangladesh are not too dissimilar to conditions all the Asian nations are familiar with including Pakistan, so your point is not valid on the batting requiring time to get used to BD conditions. Pak bowling is our strongest point. The batting when it clicks can be more than useful, Ahmed Shehzad is maturing at the right time and if he guards against complacency and over confidence, can be our best opening batsman since the great Saeed Anwer. With there being no Dhoni, I think PAK has to be the strongest side in the competition and I fancy Misbah and co to retain our title. Come on PAK!!

  • POSTED BY mum2550 on | February 24, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    What wrong has Sarfraz done for not making tos Asia Cup squad and the T20 WC. Just a few weeks back the entire media and cricketing greats were all praising his attacking attitude. I don't agree with inclusions of Kamran and Malik in T20 squad as they have been tested n failed a lot of times. Anyhow, good wishes with PAK team for both asia cup and WT20.

  • POSTED BY Aryan4M on | February 24, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    The team who plays well according to situation and handle the pressure well will WIN it.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Pakistan has got the best combination so the chance is on to win Asia cup again misbah lead the side very well

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 24, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    > > So Far In Asia Cups [1984 - 2012] < <* India - 5 Time Champions (1984, 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 2010)3 Time Runners-up (1997, 2004,2008)* Sri Lanka - 4 Time Champions (1986, 1997, 2004, 2008)6 time Runners-up (1984,1988, 1990-91,1995,2000,2010)* Pakistan - 2 Time Champions (2000, 2012)Runners-up in 1986*Bangladesh - Runners-up (2012)

  • POSTED BY AkhilaDahanayake on | February 24, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Pak - A strong bowling line up, but the batting is too inexperienced and rely on Misbah and Hafees. They are not familiar with the Bangladeshi conditions and there fast bowlers should inject more variations in order to be successful. But their spinning department will be a huge threat to any team. India - Low on confidence and missing some key players, but will be looking to gain their fame back by playing attacking cricket. Their bowling strength is much lower than SL and PAK, and they will have to work hard for their wins.Kohli will have a great responsibility to play really good innings and hold the batting together. Its also interesting to see how shami bowl on these dead pitches. SL - Very familiar with the conditions and that will be their biggest advantage. Their batsmen seems to have gained the ability to play well in these dead pitches. Their bowling has to improve a little but their bowling is the strongest next to PAK. If young Kusal fires, beating them will be difficult.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    pakistani selectors have dual policies, selecting kamran and malik for t20 (on the basis of experience and doesnt consider their poor form ), and not selecting Younis khan (one of the greates players and captain pak ever had, he have won you the world cup ones,, and he is in great form,, as evident in faisal bank cup and he is scoring hundreds and two hundreds), hafeez is not a no: 3.. as other team have,, ponting, dravid, sangakara and brain lara, so we need younis khan, and in absence of Irfan, not selecting M Sami,, as we need express fast bowlers against india and srilanka respectively.. and not selecting Sarfraz ahmed (after his performance in the last Asia cup and lat test match vs srilanka),, as umar akmal is not more than a part time wk.. yes i am very happy in the inclusion of every of my young team player,, but keeping in mind that they have a lot of time to perform for pakistan,, what is the urgency??

  • POSTED BY ShahidAzizMughal on | February 24, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    Pakistan batsmen have to show some aggression and play with the big heart and i must say here that Misbah should give their batsmen a free hand specially to Ahmad Shehzad so the tone could have been set in the early overs. as indian bating has concerned our bowlers need to show temperament becoaz in lots of matches against indian we saw our bowler got nervous when indian batsmen make an encounter attack so pakistani bowler let them play their favrout shots and make a good plan to get them out on their favrout shots as we seen in the past south african team has done most of the times against several opposition teams. HOPE FOR THE BEST PAKISTAN WILL DO WELL INSHA ALLAH

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan will make the part asia cup final and won the Cup ...Our Prayers with our beloved country Team Pakistan... Best of Luck Team Pakistan .... and our Youth players...... Lots of expets are with You to Pakistan Nations and All the Fan of Pakistan Team In World wild..... Just One team come before in Groud Prayers to Allah ... Other Leave on Allah ...Allah will do better for U....Asia Cup Compition will not easy ..Too much chellenge will face ... to every team.... Best of Luck Pakistan Team Pakistan Team Zindabad Quaid -E- Azam Zindabad

  • POSTED BY Yousuf.hatim on | February 24, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    Pakistan has gone with a good selection in this Asia Cup . They have a backup for every player and thats what good in this selection . Good line up @t20cric i agree with you . Pakistan !!! Go Green Go !!!!!

  • POSTED BY nishlan3 on | February 24, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    what ever its just send Afridi as a opener than u can keep the Asian cup title with u misbah. Good Luck

  • POSTED BY greenluv on | February 24, 2014, 4:17 GMT

    I wont say that Pakistan will win but I will here say that we do have a good chance of winning this cup. Love PaKistan.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    misbah why are you so awesome

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, of course i am supporting Pakistan. But their is no doubt that India and SriLanka are equally good sides. The only setback India has is the absence of MSD. Moreover, i would advise Indian fans to be a bit patient n support MSD. He is the best.

  • POSTED BY rakibul1986 on | February 24, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Misbah say that 100% correct. ""Afghanistan are a new, exciting team. They can do anything on a given day. They are not experienced, but they give their 100%. They have players that can really challenge other teams."

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    @ RaXa Abbas, all 3 are in the squad n will be recovered from the injuries.. so wont be missed

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    Pakistan has another advantage going into this Asia Cup. Many Pakistani players play in the Dhaka domestic league and so they are familiar with the Bangladeshi wickets. This will be of some assistance. There are 30 plus Sri Lankans who play for the various teams in BD's domestic league. That was another reason why SL won the series against Bangladesh so convincingly. The wickets were not posing any surprises for them. I worry for my Bangladesh team though. Tamim is out with an injury, feigned or real, I don't know. Sakib has been suspended (not wrongly in my opinion). But then we have won without Sakib before. So why not again? Go Tigers!

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | February 24, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    AFGHAN team better than BD, but Afghan can't defeat SL, India or PAK.

  • POSTED BY Practical_person on | February 24, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    All teams have an equal chance especially in these conditions and any team can win on its day. Dew and toss will be a major factor, this could neutralise Pakistan's bowling later in the second innings. Pakistan can definitely win this if they make early inroads in the opposition batting line up.

    Ofcourse we find many fans making emotional statements about India not having a chance. At the end of the day, it is only a game and may the best team win.

  • POSTED BY Unmesh_cric on | February 24, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    Fasten your seat-belts, folks...it's India Vs Pakistan on March 2nd. Win or lose, I am sure it's going to a cracking game!! - an Indian fan.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | February 24, 2014, 0:44 GMT

    Pakistan will miss the services of M. irfan. Pakistan surely has good chance. Its so pleasant to see guys like Ahmad Shahzaz, Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal performing well. they can take them guys from ODI team to test as well. Good Luck guys.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | February 24, 2014, 0:34 GMT

    Pak or SL can win Asia cup. Best of luck for Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY mshyder on | February 23, 2014, 22:09 GMT

    Would be a rough ride for Pakistan with undeserving dead woods like Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik in the side. With the strength of influence they have they would be a part of the playing XI, not only depriving deserving players of their place by also destroying the balance of the team. Perfect recipe for loosing

  • POSTED BY Cric_fever_notgoingdown on | February 23, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    i also think like few fans its going to be ind vs pak final..... have this gut feeling.. let see cant count out srilanka either. may the best team win. but my wishes with green brigade (pak)!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Pak: The most favourite side of the tournment with good youngsters coming up in the ranks , people are marging their perfmnce with the perfmnce of 2012-2013 perfmnce in last 2 series Pak have gone through sevral changes Pak is more an allround team now rather then a team who used to bank on bowling to bail them out.Pak last 2 series win have +ve with them too

    Srilanka: Good batting below par bowlers but they will really miss In form malinga, dilshan and kulasekra

    India: They are damn low in confidnce and without raina , yuvi and dhoni their middle order is unsettled and bowling was always weak and they will really miss dhoni the captain.But the best thing about indian team is that after playing so much IPL they have become mentally tough and this will really them

    Bagnla: Really sad to see that even after so many years they havent shown lil bit improvmnt so no hopes from them this time and no fluke finals too

    Afghan: they are only a good t20 team

    Hoping for a good contest :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    hoping for a exciting final between SL and either UAE/Afganistan!!! Choke on that Indian and Pak fans :)

  • POSTED BY electric_waco_WAP4 on | February 23, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    @ABKhanISB...very smart analysis. Wow. !!!!LOL

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    Good luck Misbah. I am sure you know that you have more fans in India than you have in Pak. Pak, with better batting by their own standards, bowling always is awesome should be strong contender along with SL who already are playing in BD since a month. We, India are going through a rough, lot of that and have lot of selection headache and do not have settled side. Bowling was always weak and now even batting do not ooze much confidence. Only plus I see is, Kohli will try to prove a point for his test captaincy stake. Another factor which can hinder Pak is dew in BD. Pak, stronger in bowling would like to bat first and defend but in DN matches if there is dew, they may face problems and both Ind & BD can sneak out a win against you. Whatever, hoping for a good contest in all the matches and may the best team win.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | February 23, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Hoping for close and fair cricketing contests in Asia Cup and best of luck to all the participants. May the best team win!

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | February 23, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    For Pakistan to win I think the team needs to be: 1. Ahmed Shehzad, 2. Sharjeel Khan, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Sohaib Maqsood, 5. Misbah-ul-haq, 6. Umar Akmal, 7. Bilawal Bhatti, 8. Shahid Afridi, 9. Umar Gul, 10. Saeed Ajmal, 11. Junaid Khan. If Hafeez or Sohaib fail consistently then Fawad Alam can be given a chance, if Bilawal fails then Anwar Ali can be given a chance and if Gul or Junaid fail then Mohammad Talha can be given a chance. If one of the openers fail then Hafeez can open with Fawad taking his spot at no.3.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | February 23, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    I think Pakistan, India and SL all have an equal chance but as a Pak fan I would like to believe Pak has the upper hand. India's batting without Dhoni won't look much weaker but if the top 4 fail then there won't be Dhoni to rely on in order to get a big score. SL have a pretty good batting line-up with the young guys performing well but need to strengthen bowling a bit and the fact that a few of their wins against Bangladesh were quiet narrow. Pakistan has the strongest bowling of all Asian teams like usual but this time they also have young batsmen who are performing, obviously they are still prone to a collapse like that 1 run loss against SA will remind everyone.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    We are expecting Pak win asia cup,

  • POSTED BY Cricsnake on | February 23, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Pakistan is the most dangerous as they have balanced team with best bowling attack in Asia. But India also be a huge threat to us in SC tracks as they'll do everything to regain their lost pride. BD is out form without Sakib & Tamim. But still they can bounce-back on their home soil to surprise everyone. Afghanistan will give good fight but 50 overs are too much for them. They'll be dangerous in T20's. It's anybody's game. SL should make sure that no more injuries to our in-form players. I accept that all Pak, Ind & SL have equal chances. Good Luck to all Asian teams to perform well. Wanna see good cricket. Doesn't matter who wins, we all are one SUBCONTINENT.

  • POSTED BY ABKhanISB on | February 23, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    Anybody could win Asia cup except India. I dont think they can win from BD as happened in the last Asia cup

  • POSTED BY huffpost on | February 23, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    My prediction would be an India-pakistan final on March 8th..I have no doubt these are the top 2 teams in Asia..the Indians may have had a tough time in NZ but in sub continental conditions, they are always a dangerous side..they won against a strong Aussie team in November and even without Dhoni they have a very strong batting lineup and an aggressive captain in viral kohli.

  • POSTED BY Marain_Khan on | February 23, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    Expecting a thriller Final between Ind and Pak..

  • POSTED BY SenuraTimberlake on | February 23, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    I think the real competition in this year's Asia Cup would be between SL and Pakistan. SL have been playing in BD for the past month and so are comfortable with the conditions. Also almost all the players in SL are in relatively good form.

    Pakistan have a well balanced side with an extremely good bowling attack-Probably the best in asia. So they are probably the only side that have an equal chance of winning the cup as SL.

    India are looking a different outfit without MS Dhoni. And also they are ow in confidence after the drubbing they recieved in NZ. So they are certainly not favourites.

    And to all the SL fans posting stupid comments such as "Pak cant even beat Afghamistan" etc etc Pls Stop!! Cant u remember that PakistaN beat us quite recently in the UAE? The last thing we want is too subcontinent fans fighting with each other.

    Go lions!!

  • POSTED BY I_amMirza on | February 23, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    Pakistan is good team but they should not forget who their opponents are. Indian batsmen are Lions in Asia and SL is playing in Bangladesh so they are pretty familiar with the conditions so they have an edge. Bangladesh is doing well in their home since last 2,3 series. So Pakistan should go with balanced Squad. i think 2 specialist fast bowlers with an all rounder like bhatti and Anwer will be good. Pakistan Must play 2 specialist bowlers. Saeed and Zulfiqar will be Handy. Pak have extra advantage of Afridi and Hafeez as well who can bat as well. Shahzad is in good touch so is Sharjeel. if opening can give a good stand then Pak middle order has Misbah, Maqsood and Akmal. i hope we will see good cricket ahead. Good Luck GREEN..!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    In batting kohli over the years shows hunger of runs and he prove himself one of the best cricket that India ever produce in such a young age,but the question is if he has the same hunger to lead India as a captain and win big for his country,srilanka on other hand have already had exposure to the environment which help them in tournament Pakistan with best bowling line up of Asia and a veteran captain who win them the previous cup.so the contest would be very tight the winner would be definitely who want the trophy more. Afghanitsan and Bangladesh also can give some nightmares to these big three.so finger crossed to have another kohli vs junaid

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Well guys..... It will be tough comptetion for every team... be rest assured :) :) :) :) so better to stop dreaming in favour of any team. every team has its strengths and weeknesses. SL & BD have advantage of playing on these strips very recently so they are more tuned.... Let's see. The difference among teams is too small to predict.....

  • POSTED BY larkykid on | February 23, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    @SLisBestinEarth - yes Pak batting is fallible and India is flat track bullies with relatively weak bowling and blah blah blah. But SL is such a negative and boring outfit, at least the other teams have a bit of excitement about them. If anyone is finding difficulty sleeping, just watch SL play cricket and you'll be snoozing in no time.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 23, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    no matter what , India will remain favorite in Asia cup . way to go boys... wish you the best of luck .

  • POSTED BY haq33 on | February 23, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Expect India to strike back after recent poor results. Also, SL has the batting to reach 300+ against any team on these wickets. Pak's best formula as ever is early wickets to slow the run rate. Our batsmen are stronger than before but still inconsistent and so so prone to collapse. Afg and Bang will be hunting for scalps. This one of the most open AC's in recent years. No clear favourite.

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | February 23, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Well those who are trying to compare Pakistan performances in UAE should remind them selves that SL were well below par in the ODI series, even then Pakistan won 3-2 the 1st game could have gone either way after SL made an incredible fight back, in addition to that they were without Mahela for that series, historically he is one batsman who has a mastery over Pakistan spinners including Ajmal. And for those are still boasting about that 3rd test, well Pakistan won because of a huge tactical blunder from Mathews(No matter what excuses he made) nothing else.

  • POSTED BY msdhoni123 on | February 23, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    @SLbestintheworld lol well done. yee you are right you guys are amazing while pakistan (current asian cup winner) and india (current world cup and champions trophy winner) are very weak. After all you did beat Bangladesh who is considered to be the bench mark these days but even with that most games were won by the skin of your teeth.so keep it up.im sure chandimal thirianne will pass with flying marks when dilshan mahela and sanga retire

  • POSTED BY Solid_Snake on | February 23, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    @ SLisBestinEarth: Pak is a weak batting team even worse than BD? Lol..Let me take you back to Pak vs SL series..Do you know that your so called weak team Thrashed SL in ODI's..And then in Test series as well..Remember 2nd test match?Or should i have to explain more.. SL team & their fans always dream of defeating India & Pak..But they are 100 years short of converting those dream into a reality..Even BD gave tough time to SL in recent series..& lol..Do you even remember what happened in last Asia cup?You so called "BestinEarth" SL team got thrashed by BD hahaha

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Dhoni is injured and Indian team not all that confident, Pakistan are the favorites to win this.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | February 23, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    If India doesn't reach to final, Indian spectators may lose interest in the tournament. If it happens sponsors will lose revenue hence less money. I think India should veto power and qualify for final. Remaining four teams should play for second spot in the final. That will be new definition of fairness!

  • POSTED BY Salar_Ahmed on | February 23, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Pakistani batting won't be a weak link in the asia cup, you can be sure of it. Pakistan is the sole team in the tournament with a respectable bowling attack. India, SL and Bangladesh are heavily reliant on their batting. There are likely to be flat tracks and we have seen that Pakistan can score above 300 in such conditions facing SL. I am hoping Fawad Alam's gives strong performances and wins a place in the ODI side and then Test, he is quality quality player.

  • POSTED BY ayub.khan on | February 23, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    It is nice and very balanced team of pak. Anwar ali should be in the team he is a brilliant playert. Hope pak will win asia cup lnsha'Allah

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 23, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    pakistan will be playing after a break so will be rusty india are also low on confidence espically losing abroad and played tests before this tournament afghanistan havent played much cricket of lately bangladesh are struggling against SL the only team i can see winning asia cup is SL

  • POSTED BY SLisBestinEarth on | February 23, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    I'm pretty sure, SL will win easily the Asia cup... Pakistan a very week batting them; infact worse then BD. With Flat track bullies India a week bowling team worse than AFG. Srilanka tick in Batting, Decent in Bowling, Very good fielding team in Asia... SL is only asia team to play Fast bowl && Bouncier ball very wall than Pak & Flat bullies... Come on Lankan lions..... Add 2014 Asia cup...

  • POSTED BY Nuwas on | February 23, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Well people its kinda too early to label "We are the strongest" for any team in the tournament since every team has its both merits & demerits. No one should forget the fact that every team is supposed to play in conditions which are very much familiar to all without much difference from their own home conditions. Its all about each game & "favorites or not" end results will pave the way towards the finals & then the title holders can brag on their victories. Good luck to all the teams & may we have a thriller of a tournament.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 23, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    And Good Luck Pakistan . Good Luck . afridi. Misbah U.akmal Gul Bhatti. Hafeez Maqsood Shehzad Anwar Ali junaid Khan Younis Khan Go For Hit

  • POSTED BY msdhoni123 on | February 23, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    also like to wish afganistan and bengladesh all the best. bengladesh if the play to there potential they got every chance of winning the cup but rarely they do that. and hope afganistan will give a run for there money to the big teams. Good luck to all the team. but come on india bring the cup home.bleed blue.we are going to miss dhoni a lot. raina should have been back in the squad when dhoni was injured cos we got no experiance after number 3

  • POSTED BY msdhoni123 on | February 23, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    SL India and Pakistan all got equal chances of winning the cup. Im a Indian supporter but im not a biased supporter who is going to India is amazing while everyone is rubbish. Pakistan strongest point is there bowling so they should bat first and whatever they get there bowler can defend it. While SL and India batting rely a lot on there batting so they should bat second and chase whatever target the get. India is going to reply a lot of Dhawan Sharma and Kohli while SL going to rely on Kushal,Sangha and dilshen. Dhawan and sharma is weak at seaming wickets but subcontinent conditions they will pose a big threat along with kohli is just amazing at every track. SL bowling going to depend a lot on malinga but india,pakistan are very used to malinga so he should face lesser threat to them. While India bowling which im not going to comment on but hopefully bhuvi will keep it economical and shami as strike bowler. I feel ajmal and misbah key players for pakistan

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | February 23, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    With Fawad Alam back and worst players like Sharjeel Khan, Pakistan has no chance.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    I think Misbah is right, any team can do well as there will be no demons in pitch.

    Pakistan is also in good shape for last few series. but coming from a break. But before that they have been performing well against SL and SA. batting was in good shape. they will surely miss irfan but Gul and junaid are good enough.

    I would give SL more points as they are playing good on these wickets for last month or so. India is without dhoni but still good enough. It will be a tough competition.

    I was also of the view that BD will do well like last time but series against SL has been very poor for them.

    Afghanistan has got real good chance and a good team.

    Good luck to all teams. hoping to see some hard fought games.

  • POSTED BY Anubhav-the-Experience on | February 23, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Since India and SL has gone into a snooze, Pak has a good chance of winning with a very aggressive, balanced team.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    when ever Pakistan plays after a gap THE PERFORMANCE IS LOW gradually it goes up luck will play an important part to reach finals of Asia cup.

  • POSTED BY macsahil on | February 23, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    I really feel dat Pak's seam bowling may b any issue dis time arnd....hopefully it wont..Lankans also hve a gud side which can clinch da title but dey also lack a wicket taking seamer though dere batting looks f9....dese 2 teams in da final? Wud b a gud contest anyway but pak look da toughest in da battle..

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | February 23, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    Every fans has the right to say nice and confidant words for their team but giving bad comments of other teams and comparing them is something you don't want to do. To me Pak, SL and India are the clear favorites one really cannot pick any one as there are so many factors involve.

  • POSTED BY Ahmedpakistan6 on | February 23, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    @ Dasun Navod Mate, Have you been sleeping? Which 3 games went to the final? Misbah, Younus, Hafeez and Ajmal doing things??? In the Odi series Batting it was Hafeez, Afridi and Shehzad with the bat In the Odi series Bowling, it was Ajmal and Junaid. In the 3rd test How did you forget Shehzad's contribution? He scored that brilliant 147 which allowed Pakistan to get to a big total. How did you forget Sarfaraz Ahmed's amazing innings in the 3rd test? How did you forget Junaid's contribution in the 1st test?

  • POSTED BY Ikram.Yousefzai on | February 23, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Pakistan and Misbah have a great chance to Win the cup this time, As you see India its best these days and against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Pakistan had a upper hand. I predict some upsets from Afghan Team As well. But the cup will be ours this Time, Go Green Go.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Misbah is the main batting star.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    i think pakistan fans forgot how much they loss against sri lankan fast bowlers in 2nd test completely , only hint of swing need against pakistan batting they will cut their own grave like 2nd test match, plus that 3 out of 5 those games went to final over suggest that its not easy going to pakistan,and most of the games it was misbah , younis , hafeez and ajmal done the things for the pakistan on the other hand Kaushal, kusal, chandimall, mathews ,dimuth kind of youngsters done most of hard work for the team, sanga and mahela and dilshan didnt contribute as usual.

  • POSTED BY alipk52 on | February 23, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    I really hope Misbah this time around has learned from pleasent experience he got by chasing 300+ in 2 sessions, I really hope we'll see his aggressive approach from now on, as his defensive tactics have costed us several games, one of the major setback I believe is he also don't seem to allow attacking batsmans like Umar Akmal/Shehzad to attack, he really need to allow these two to play their natural game, he should know you can't afford both batsman at the crease to play defensively, one end must attack while his partner is defending, this has been the major issue of Pakistan's batting since last couple of years, and I am certain this is the reason of serious demise in batting, if Shehzad is defending, Sharjeel must flourish, and vice versa. I hope everyone is agree with me.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | February 23, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka have an equal chance as the Pakistanis in lifting the cup if the full team plays without the injury issue. It will be a tussle between them for Asian supremacy!

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | February 23, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    I think Pakistan is the strongest contender followed by Sri Lanka. I am absolutely sure that India will look a completely different team without Dhoni so I don't see a chance for them. Bangladesh would have been a strong contender too in their home conditions but because of Shakib's unavailability for the first two ODIs and Tamim missing the entire tournament, I don't see them winning the cup. Afghanistan is a likable team but it is still very inexperienced. So I pick Pakistan followed by Sri Lanka as the strong contenders.

  • POSTED BY Naeem578 on | February 23, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Misbah you always sound great. He always summerises things humbly n factualy not like dhoni who always have thousands of excuses ready n never ever appreciate any other team on their wins against his mediocre overhyped team.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | February 23, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Lion of lanka i can't stop laughing, Pakistan won a series against you in UAE. Pakistan no doubt has a chances to clinch this title again as we are the most balanced side of Asia

  • POSTED BY sherishahmir on | February 23, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Truly said by Dhoni48, most likely any team out of big three of sub-continent should lift this cup as usual, hope we will have good thrill cricket in asia cup and wont be a bored one. Good luck to all teams and my support to my team, Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY adeelicap on | February 23, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    @ LionsofLanka

    i think you are not in ur senses, or less cricket knowledge, pak is the strongest candidate, u forget last chase in final test,

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    @LionsofLanka; have u just woke up my dear?????? for your information, pak has just beaten u badly. Misbha has tried to be truthful in speaking that all competitors are very good teams. so get up n take a cup of hot coffee n review last series.. lol... btw 302 in last two sessions of test.... i think u even didnt know it.... what a pity

  • POSTED BY SR84 on | February 23, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Wait till India decides to rule out a team by changing the rules. Coming soom to a stadium near you. Best of luck Afghani lions!

  • POSTED BY Extraz on | February 23, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    @LionsofLanka...lol I find your comment funny because we have recently beaten you 3-2!! and South Africa 2-1 in South africa, the only asian team to do that!...the only threat I see is india they will be tough to beat.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    go green go <3 you are champion .i hope my captain given us proud be to a misbah'ian .

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    GO men in green .. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !

  • POSTED BY LionsofLanka on | February 23, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Misbah confident despite tough competition?

    You can't win against us, BDs, Indians & even Afghans. Then what are you talking about confidence? Confidence never win the matches rather it put you down when you try to show off.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Pakistan have Good Chance to won the Asia cup 2014 That will be a Good Answer to Big 3

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    best of luck pakistan team

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | February 23, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Out of the 5 teams Pakistan has the most balanced team so there is no harm is accepting the fact that they start as the favorites. But the problem is you can never guess what sort performance they will come up with.

  • POSTED BY kartcric on | February 23, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    All three teams have a equal chance to lift the Asia cup.That is-Pakistan,Srilanka and India.Practically only these can put up a fight

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Mibah being a captain you should appraise each batsman.. in your whole interview you took name of each player except Umar Akmal who has done many many partnerships with you during run chase successfully... i would suspect you have major role in keeping him as keeper and giving less chance as top order batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    india will be favourite on these pitches ,, but chances for all other teams have increased beacuse dhoni and raina are out ,both are very handy on flat track, best of luck pakistan

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  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    india will be favourite on these pitches ,, but chances for all other teams have increased beacuse dhoni and raina are out ,both are very handy on flat track, best of luck pakistan

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Mibah being a captain you should appraise each batsman.. in your whole interview you took name of each player except Umar Akmal who has done many many partnerships with you during run chase successfully... i would suspect you have major role in keeping him as keeper and giving less chance as top order batsman.

  • POSTED BY kartcric on | February 23, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    All three teams have a equal chance to lift the Asia cup.That is-Pakistan,Srilanka and India.Practically only these can put up a fight

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | February 23, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Out of the 5 teams Pakistan has the most balanced team so there is no harm is accepting the fact that they start as the favorites. But the problem is you can never guess what sort performance they will come up with.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    best of luck pakistan team

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Pakistan have Good Chance to won the Asia cup 2014 That will be a Good Answer to Big 3

  • POSTED BY LionsofLanka on | February 23, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Misbah confident despite tough competition?

    You can't win against us, BDs, Indians & even Afghans. Then what are you talking about confidence? Confidence never win the matches rather it put you down when you try to show off.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    GO men in green .. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    go green go <3 you are champion .i hope my captain given us proud be to a misbah'ian .

  • POSTED BY Extraz on | February 23, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    @LionsofLanka...lol I find your comment funny because we have recently beaten you 3-2!! and South Africa 2-1 in South africa, the only asian team to do that!...the only threat I see is india they will be tough to beat.