Asia Cup

Afghanistan join Asia's big boys

Mohammad Isam

February 24, 2014

Comments: 162 | Text size: A | A

Asghar Stanikzai and a team-mate go through the paces during training, Mirpur, February 24, 2014
Afghanistan will be put through their paces by the more established teams © AFP
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Players/Officials: Mohammad Nabi
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi stood alongside Virat Kohli, Misbah-ul-Haq, Angelo Mathews and Mushfiqur Rahim at the Asia Cup's trophy unveiling ceremony. Such events are now part of any series or tournament, but it would have been a special occasion for Nabi, as this is Afghanistan's first participation in a major one-day tournament.

The added prestige comes from taking part in a regional competition which boasts three former world champions. For someone like Nabi, this is the perfect opportunity to learn the nitty-gritty of captaincy. He has led in only four ODIs, and the Asia Cup will be Nabi's greatest opportunity to collect as much information as he can ahead of the World Twenty20s and looking ahead to the 2015 World Cup. They will all live in the same hotel too, so there will be more opportunities to learn on and off the field.

He will take lessons from how the Sri Lankan captain finds himself among several other former captains in the line-up and the Bangladeshi captain who has found himself in the middle of controversies galore. He will learn from India's most feted young batsman and a Pakistan captain who knows how to handle pressure with a straight face.

Kohli will have to deal with the usual expectations on an India captain, in addition to those brought on by his stellar ODI record. In Bangladesh, Kohli averages 122, having scored 732 runs with four hundreds and three fifties. As captain in eight ODIs, he averages 66.40 with a couple of centuries.

He may have found ODIs easy so far, but he understands that demands of the job in hand, as anything less than a title win will likely be seen as a disappointment. The potential of the young batting line-up - which is without the experience of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina - excites him, but his big test will be handling a bowling attack that has misfired badly in the recent past.

Misbah is a captain who is at the other end of the spectrum to Kohli. Though fans' opinions on Misbah are well and truly split, there is no denying that Misbah has brought Pakistan success in the last 12 months. In one-day cricket, Pakistan have won four out of their last five ODI series, and having usually played well in Dhaka, they will probably enter the tournament as slight favourites.

Age is not on Misbah's side but his experience has been a huge factor in keeping Pakistan on an even keel during his reign. Perhaps what helps him the most is the amount of runs he has scored in this format recently. He is Pakistan's leading scorer in the past 12 months, and his career record in wins is even more impressive - he averages 53.63, and 22 of his 35 half-centuries have helped Pakistan to victory.

Both Kohli and Misbah have excelled in ODIs, but the battle between India and Pakistan this time will have the added spice of two contrasting captains at work.

Mathews is a year older than Kohli and he has the opposite of what Kohli has. Mathews has experience in his line-up, the knowledge of several former captains and a current Twenty20 captain. In Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Mathews has the reliability most captains crave for. The presence of these consistent senior players means the likes of Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal can play freely.

He has been known to respect the senior players' suggestions and it has been seen in on-field discussions, particularly in crunch situations, that both Jayawardene and Sangakkara have been in his ear. Dilshan and Lasith Malinga chip in from time to time, so Mathews has to carve out his own corner in the field.

If Mushfiqur had at least one player of such vast experience, he would have far fewer problems than he is facing right now. On the field, Bangladesh did not win a single match in the series against Sri Lanka recently. They drew a Test match earlier this month but that seems like a distant memory.

Right from the end of the Chittagong Test, there have been problems, from minor issues like Tamim Iqbal resigning as vice-captain to an incident when Shakib Al Hasan gestured inappropriately on live TV. Tamim's neck strain has added to injury woes which include Mushfiqur's finger and Mashrafe Mortaza's swollen knee.

Mushfiqur's own frustration boiled over when he criticised the chief selector for not consulting him ahead of the tournament's squad selection. The last month has not been a happy time for the Bangladesh captain, and without Shakib in the first two matches and Tamim for the entire tournament, the team's batting resources are considerably thinner. The absence of Shakib severely hurts the bowling department as well.

Given the myriad challenges facing the other four captains, Nabi will get a lot of first-hand knowledge from the Asia Cup. What he takes away from the Asia Cup will last a lifetime for Nabi. With two major tournaments coming up in the next 12 months, where cricket in the sub-continent stands will also be brought out through these five captains and their fortunes.

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

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by NUNA_1980 on (March 1, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

Fast_Track_Bully@ your comets not make any sense your prediction is completely wrong my friend. You said Chaina Butan will beat SL, But the way it's going i am not saying Afgan but defiantly PAK will beat India. SL will slowly move to Big Final without any kind of trouble.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

Afgan can beat BD and SL for sure. All the best for that.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

Afghanistan has bat sensibly.They should respect the good balls and punish the bad ones.If bats well,they will win as their bowling department is quite strong.Even stronger than India and Bangladesh... good luck for tomorrow my heroes!!!!!

Posted by naimurchowdhury32 on (February 26, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

Afghanistan will be thrashed by all. The fact is that they are talented but unless they play regular test series against top opposition they will not improve.

Afghanistan Cricket Board are doing nothing for the game in the country.

Posted by MrAdishaan on (February 26, 2014, 4:24 GMT)

Afgan will suprise all. They are developing at very good rate.

Posted by wapuser on (February 25, 2014, 22:06 GMT)

Asia cup is terrific , asian teams play exciting cricket keep it asia

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

afghanistan has a good chance against bangla desh and un predictable pakistan, only they need to concentrate on

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

Good Chance for afghan , to show the cricket words tht they r capable to play n such big tournament . Best of Luck Afghan tigers .

Posted by sandy_san on (February 25, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

First and Final match of ASIA CUP 2014, is going to be PAK Vs SRL, as simple as that !!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

fed up with these comments from pak cricket lover. Guys have you forget last asia cup match against your team. All players from your team looking for safe places so that they can hide themselves from VIRAT. I know our bowling is little bit week but you never know what we have for you guys. you can never win against us.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (February 25, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

afghanastan amazes me how far they have come in recent years, how could a country with so much recent turmoil produce an international side of what must be pretty reasonable players, i would of thought nepal was going to be the next best team from asia but it seems afghanastan has over taken them, don't think anyone will be touring there anytime soon but can anyone tell me much about them? do they have a first class structure or anything like that? amazes me they have had any cricket at all, good on them i say and wish them all the best.

Posted by AravindVatsal82 on (February 25, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

It will be very comparative for Virat & Misbah,as cricket fan watch them very closely, it is very interesting to see who comes out there head up under the pressure situation when they play each other.for me both the teams have there one hand on the cup,with bangaldesh & Afghanistan will help occupy the top 2 position in the table,interstingly both these captains want to win against the srilanka which will be on their mind,knowing Misbah has been jell with the team,virat has to not only start afresh but also pull up socks with recent results,and for me the better ,disciplined bowling side will have the upper hand,india with present bowling attack except shami & no zahir looks pretty ordinary pace attack,this is the challange kholi as a captain is up infront before getting in the middle.....

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

@Waqs77. It was SL not Pakistan, I mentioned! Also, as a reply to someone else. BTW, how many times Pakistan crossed 350 in an ODI? ok, 300? at least 250? lol. Even against ethopya and somalia you are not able to do that. All teams has weakness , so just think about your issues not ours.

Posted by BanglaBandhu on (February 25, 2014, 8:34 GMT)

As a bangladeshi fan, I would like to welcome Mohammad Nabi to Bangladesh and tot he ASia CUp. We wish you all the best and hope for a competitive tournament

Posted by jimbond on (February 25, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

I will be a happy man if Afghanistan beat Bangladesh, and at least one of the big three Asian countries. It will be a lesson in humility for all these countries if they lose to an emerging cricketing nation like Afghanistan.

Posted by sidh78 on (February 25, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

@deae ahmad khan india won CT in engaland without loosing a single match(even practice match) & deafeted all teams.india beat pak & SL also.pakistan not won a single match in CT. also india won a tri series in WI.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

best wishes 4 my Afghan Team ,we all Afghans are praying 4them 2 win atleast 2 matches ,but if not also no matter we are so excited 2 see our team in the Asian battle 4 the first time ,its a great opportunity to show our performance.In Sha Allah we will get the victory ...

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

@NUNA_1980 . Yes, the kidz know whats you achievement in the last Asiacup too. Don't you know that?

Posted by Waqs77 on (February 25, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

@ Fast_Track_Bully: How pathetic your cricket sense and analysis is. You mentioned indian bowling is better than pak who failed to get 10 ranked team. What a joke. That happened once in history. What about indian bowling who can not get out no. 8 ranked team on each occasion. In all ODIs NZ scored 300+ and in both tests they crossed 500+ and still you claim ur bowling is better. Get a life mate. The indian bowling miseries not limited to NZ tour only, 300+ is now a routine against your lethargic bowling attack. Even if Nigeria and Ethiopia start playing cricket, they will score 300+ against you. FYI check the stats how many teams crossed 300+ plus in ODIs and 400+ against pak in recent past then you will come to know the reality. Try to live in reality not in illusions.

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 25, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

@blade-runner - If you dont know the word "rational" I suggest you look it up. Rational comments are expected by fans - you rate India lower than Nepal. Wow. Will come back to YOU after all the games are played to see where Bang. and Afghan. sits!!!!

Posted by Mythh on (February 25, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

Best Thing would be if India Looses Matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan and at least they will get rid of the tag called Flat Track Bullies and opens few eyes in BCCI management.

Posted by Mobin_My_Name on (February 25, 2014, 7:12 GMT)

Afgan came so close to beat pakistan. I will nt b surprised if they beat Srilanka Bd n even India giving there recent humiliation overseas. Only worry iz every afghan batsman wants to be like afridi, if they play sensible then will make it to the of luck Afghan brothers.

Posted by vipinchirackal on (February 25, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

india must have seperate team for sob continental pitches and foreign pitches.when they in sub continental pitches they can use players like raina,karthik and the same time when they play abroad avoid these players and bring players like pujara and yuvraj.there are some players like rahane,dhawan,dhoni,kohli,shami,jadeja who can be used at all sort of pitches.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

welcome for Asia cup

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

lol some SL and Pak fans day dreaming based on India's performance in fast pitches! BD do not have any bowling pitches as long as I know! @ Sub-continent, India is the best team. Otherwise ask the Australians how hard it was! @Ahmed Khan . CT2013, Three nations @ WI, ZIM tour are the matches India won away from home. thnks for letting us know your ignorance. In CT, Pakistan lost to India that was the last time when India and Pak met. Only Pak has the habbit of getting defeated by minnows like scotland, Ireland etc. Now, it is time for Afgan. Get ready for it. @ nipun027. If you cannot find SL struggle in BD games, it must be a joke. SL are not going to be in the finals for sure. @ Albert_cambell. Try to change the words at-least. Boaring to see same bashing text. ha ha

Posted by Great_Chucker on (February 25, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

@Albert_cambell its certain that Akmals help opposition team win BD and Afghan can plan their matches against other bigger team Ind

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

All Afghanistan really period that our national team for the very first test their luck, talent and skills. although they face strong and expert teams but it's obvious that Afghans with minimum facilities make a difference of luck Afghanistan

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Pakistan seems to be fav. Srilakan team looks depleted same goes for india. I dont think Bangladesh have a chance, If afgan team could upset one or two that will be a great scene

Posted by Shah_Afghan on (February 25, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

Please call Afghanistan Players, Afghans not Afghanis or Afghanistanies. our nationality is Afghans.

I would like to request you all to use the correct words and always say and write Afghans not Afghanis


Posted by Great_Chucker on (February 25, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

@Albert_cambell are Pak supporter residing in SA....considering Pak history it won't be "surprising" if they lose to Aghans and BD ,minnows in tournament...its Ind vs SL final with India thrashing SL...

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

Best wishes for Afghanistan. Really they are doing very good last few years.

Posted by missionbegins2011 on (February 25, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

I find most of the SL fans (not all) rabid which is a sorry state. They clearly are overtly negative as far as the IND team goes but the fact is that IND has a phenomenal recent & overall record vs SL. I have this feeling with VK's positive vibes as a captain IND is going to win this Asia Cup. The only thorn that i see is inclusion of Dinesh Karthik who is a below par player & stands no where when compared to Dhoni. Anyways, my prediction - IND will win this cup without dropping a single match

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

@Albert_cambell - That is such a prejudiced opinion, fit for a fiction novel. Lets be realistic, lets enjoy cricket and let the best team win on the given day.

Posted by NUNA_1980 on (February 25, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully, I you seriously talking about cricket? or either you think this hokey Asia cup ? Because even little Indian kid will know how Sri Lankan preforming in big occasions. So please next time don't mix it we forgive you because this is gentlemen's game. I believe they all good teams,Good luck for all the Asian teams !!!

Posted by atuljain1969 on (February 25, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

I expect Afghanistan to win at least 2 matches, against which opposition is anybody's guess.

My favourites are SRI LANKA to win this cup.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 25, 2014, 6:25 GMT)

@ Albert_cambell I would say Afghan and Sl would be a cracker with Afgan winning. But if SL wins it will be a big upset.

Posted by Ani.Indian on (February 25, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

Very interesting to see how Afghanistan Team perform in their first big platform. Hope to see some good fight from this team. We need participation from more nations to make ICC tournaments and Cricket more exciting!!!!

Posted by Albert_cambell on (February 25, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

This years Asia cup match between India and BD is going to be an absolute cracker. The losing team of this game will take the wooden spoon. I wouldnt be surprised if India takes Wooden spoon ahead of BD(Who used to win it every edition) this time. Pakistan clear are favourites to win the Asia cup this year. The only team who would challenge them this year is Sri lanka. But their recent failures in winning a final game gives the edge to Pak. Afghan team will be the surprise package this time and they will take 3rd spot by beating both India and BD.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:06 GMT)

Its a series where noone will gain anything,,,Once again play on flat pitches,, once again you see bowlers struggling,,,,, its boring series,,,, This should be stopped

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 25, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

this series will only benefit afgan..they can learn lot of things. .but for india,srilanka,pakistan,bangladesh this asia cup is real time waste...and it will make only flat track players as good players and spinners as best....remember next world cup in team can take any experience from this series to australia.... who ever gets man of the series in this toiurnament will be big zero in australia ..this series will kill real talents from pak,india,srilanka ..only fake players will emerge as good... shame ..instead of playing in austraila ,newzealand,s africaan pitches these are playing in these condition ......

Posted by nipun027 on (February 25, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully: I doubt your cricket prediction..... I believe that Sri Lanka has the highest possibilities to win the Asia Cup this year.... If not then it will be Pakistan...... Apart from this two teams I can't foresee any other champions..... But still it is a cricket match anything can happen in a match that can change the scenario of the entire tournament as like happened last Asia Cup where Bangladesh was in the finals and about to be the champion...........

Posted by SR84 on (February 25, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

Exciting tournament with a great line up of players!

Looking forward to seeing the Afghanis go head to head with the bigger teams. What the Afghanis have going in their favor is the great intent they play with. Also, having 11 Shahid Afridis in one team helps!

Pakistanis need to keep themselves in check and not let their performance slide.

SL coming of a big high needs to keep their momentum. If they bring their A game, they too can go all the way.

Bangladesh is going to have a tough time if they lose to Afghanistan and especially with Shaqib Al Hasan banned for a Michael Jackson dance move it will be an uphill ride.

Since India owns world cricket; any game lost should be an embarrassment to themselves.

Posted by goafghanistan on (February 25, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

Come on the boys, great to see some positive news, hopefully they can manage one win even if its against Bangladesh or India j/k

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:01 GMT)

I Am an Indian but Afghanistan will make their nation pride regardless of what they do in this Tournament . Its Their 1st attempt at the biggest stage , so Best of Luck to them .They Have 40% of the Facilities compare them o other teams . But what they Have is Courage and Determination. ICC Should be Complimented for this too.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:59 GMT)

@Fast Track Bully ....... Stop Bullying ....... by the way r u talking about the team india which tasted defeat last year against senior Pakistani neighbors at their soil .... Pakistan has won 4 out of 5 One day series and all were away from home... can i hear how many India has won last year away from home.... be ready to taste the defeat against any minnow BD or Afg... c the Poll if u have any doubts regarding hot favrt team .... Plz publish this CRICINFO

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

Really happy and proud moment as a cricket lover to see Afghanistan making it to Asia cup. All the very best to them. It is going to be a great learning experience for them and if they could make these cricket giants run for their money inspite of easy wins, that would be just awesome.

Posted by linguboy on (February 25, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

@DesiHungama, If the tracks are flat why did Pakistan failed to score 250 against this poor Indian lineup. SL scored 186, WI scored 220 or so, Pakistan around 200 and so. AUS were bundled out for 74 in the warm up game. Only SA-IND game was played in flat tracks. Accept that India Played well in CT 2013 in England rather than trying to find excuses for our team's pathetic performances there. It only degrades your team and their ability. Regarding WC 2015 its no secret that NZ and AUS will start as favorites and it doesn't matter who starts as favorites but who performs the most will lift the trophy which any team can do on their day. So chill.

Posted by Lakpj on (February 25, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully your predictions are good, but keep dreaming mate . lolzz

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

@ Fast_Track_Bully- ha haa Mouth is not enough to smile at your over ambitious & ridiculous comment..get a life..Keep Clam & watch how Indian Team is going to trash by Even Bangladesh team. :)

Posted by msajjadsulehri on (February 25, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

Yes! Afghanistan Zindabad...But we have to know that they are still new in international circle. I wish they perform well against every team. They have to take pressure...coz "no pressure no diamonds".

For me Pakistan is favourite...

Pakistan Zindabad.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

Pakistan win Asia cup Insha Allah

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

Good to see Big men in Big League!!!!! Congrats Afgan!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

best of luck for our brave country, everyone know that our Afghan team didn't have that mach facilities like other teams, but we have trust on our brave and sensitive players they will fight well against their competitor In shaa Allah.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

I wonder Kholi is going to captain India as he captained Royal Challangers Banglore in IPL when other players in the team do a mistake Kholi showing anger to them most of the time.India can win if matches are played in India

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

Undoubtedly Pakistan bears the tag of favourites in this Asia Cup

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

Afganistan and Bangladesh ! Could they score 300+ against India, as Indian bowlers are in habbit of this

Posted by basusri133b on (February 25, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

It is heart warming to see Afganistan as part of the Asia Cup. Wish them the very best.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:33 GMT)

Best of Luck Afghanistan.... these will be mind blowing games of cricket they can beat anyone if Allah wants inshallah......

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 4:33 GMT)

Indians are the clear favorites here. Even if they lost matches in SA and NZ, you cannot hide the fact that how close they were with all odds against them. Indian batting is the best in the world. Unlike some neighbors who still looking for seniors to perform, Indian youngsters know their role in the team. Bowling has weaknesses but still better than a team who unable to bowl out 10 ranked team! I predict India Vs Pak in the final and India will win it. Afgan will be third and BD will be fourth. SL are the weakest of asian teams. If China or Bhutan playing in Asiacup, there would be some hope for SL. It will be total disastrous series for SL just like last Asiacup.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

Thanks to ACB and ICC for providing this big opportunity of participation in the Asia Cup, of course the captain and the team can learn can gain lots of new things and which will definitely given them more experience and maturity for readiness for the upcoming two major events.

Afghanistan are the rising stars them can be predictable whoever they lock horn with give them very tough time and hope they will also upset big boys and big names.

Go my boys go, you are the team to beat, this time, fingers are crossed for your success, You have a very bright future inshallah.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

since this is being held in asia this event belongs to india period.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:05 GMT)

one thing is for sure that afghanistan will give very tough time to rest teams. Afghanistan play very positve cricket. Noo presure..... Afghanistan Zindabad

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:02 GMT)

Afghanistan bust time and the Asia cup

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

All the best Afganistan from Indian Fans. We hope you do well and beat the strong teams.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:45 GMT)

this is a good chance for Afghanistan players to show their talent to the world so wish you best of luck Afghan Heroes

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:43 GMT)

it's should be Afgan Join Asia big boys and Bangladesh

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:40 GMT)

I am pretty sure that Afganistan will spring at least one surprise and fervently hope it won't be against Sri Lanka.

Posted by gaindballa on (February 25, 2014, 3:39 GMT)

This is going to be a runfest . Would like to see some bowler friendly conditions some of the time to restore the balance between bat and ball. Batting pitches and too many 4 s and 6's destroy the beauty of the game . But I guess it's too much to ask for. The game these days Is dominated by commercial interests and I guess the ratings will be low if the Indian batting line up struggles.

Posted by Arif.Dost on (February 25, 2014, 3:36 GMT)

Afghanistan Player 's 100% Practice for These Match .To Have A best Result In Asia Cup .

Posted by Fawad.Surosh on (February 25, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Good luck for Afghan heroes. Fine opportunity to play against 3 full member teams and prove our ability.

Posted by Vitruvius on (February 25, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

If India's bowling clicks, its gonna be India for sure. I don't think anybody can stand up to the might of Indian batting especially in sub-continental conditions.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 25, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

Its so funny to read SL fans comments. They always talk their colombo track bullies up before a tournament and then go home empty handed. I hope they can cause an upset by winning against Afghan.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 25, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

A big thrashing on the cards for colombo track bullies. PAK will pummel them and teach them a lesson. And SL will go winless like last time. LOL. Colombo track bullies are here for another reality check.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 25, 2014, 3:04 GMT)

@ Blade-Runner I guess you forgot that the only time SL captain gets to touch a trophy when he is posing with other captains. If Sl will beat Afghanistan then it will be a big upset. I guess China could have been in the tournament instead of Colombo track bullies. Needless to say SL will again help India to regain top ranking like they always do. Please don't come back with excuses when you go winless like the last time. Ind and SL last 15 odis IND - 11, SL - 3, NR - 1. You have a minnow record against India.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (February 25, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

I'm rooting for Afghanistan to win. Hopefully, if they do well, it will continue to pound the door that prevents them from getting test status.

Posted by CricIndia208 on (February 25, 2014, 2:31 GMT)

India will win the Asia Cup. We will beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka as usual. Kumar sanga who scored a truckload of runs against Bangladesh will be cruelly exposed. He will fail as usual against India.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 2:10 GMT)

Sri Lanka and Pakistan match will be an interesting one. I hope large crowd will come to see the match.Bangladesh has to improve a lot. Their performance was very poor in recent matches against Sri Lanka.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (February 25, 2014, 2:07 GMT)

I massively support Afghanistan's presence in the tournament, but I think the ACC could have done more. Adding HK, Nepal and UAE to the mix would have created an 8-team tournament with two groups of four, with the top two from each making the semis. Now, it's highly likely India, Pak, SL and BD would have made the cut, but think of the exposure the other teams would've gotten!

Posted by adis26 on (February 25, 2014, 0:27 GMT)

Lots of rivalries to ensue soon but for a moment, I would like to mention that i am grateful we have our very own Asia Cup and all South Asian companies have risen to the challenge, the latest being Afghanistan. Makes for a strong cricketing future in the South Asian region which is great to see. Hoping for several good games and strong viewerships. And Go India !! :)

Posted by Nawab67 on (February 25, 2014, 0:23 GMT)

Just curious who's " INSHALLAH" is going to win.....? Funny even Lankans are saying inshallah...very strange....

Posted by wapuser on (February 24, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

Afghanistan has been playing since last couple of years consistently in big tournaments but not learning from their defeats doing again and again same mistakes on and off the field. Hopefully they'll learn this time. They should think it more than an experience and take a step towards victory by upsetting big Asian Guns.......

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 23:45 GMT)

Having Rahane to open instead of Rohit will open up a spot in the middle order. I wish they play Rayudu more as he can be a good finisher along with Binny. I dont expect the bowling to click for anyone barring Pakistan given the nature of the pitches. And of course welcome Afghanistan. Hope you guys play your hearts out as always and cause a few upseys. There is no dearth of talent and heart in your side.

Posted by Vikum72 on (February 24, 2014, 23:24 GMT)

As a Sri Lanlkan fan, I'm excited to see how the Afghanistan vs SL match will go. I don't think the two sides have ever least as far as I can recall. I think Afghanistan is a fast improving side and if their country can keep on supporting them, I see them soon overtaking Bangladesh among the Asian countries. (I mean no disrespect to BD but just assuming based on their rapid rise in the recent times). I too believe Pakistan has a slightly better chance of wining this title, however the 'correct' Pakistani team must arrive for the match!

Posted by KingOwl on (February 24, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

Ha, ha, so Bangladesh is also part of the big boys now! Funny. They acted like kids during the recent series, always giving naive excuses for their defeats!

Posted by Desihungama on (February 24, 2014, 22:48 GMT)

@sidh78 - Not to take away anything from India winning the CT (Well deserved win) but the matches were played on flat tracks much to the surprise or I should dismay of everyone. Now, anyone can win Asia Cup. All teams are good. 3 out of 4 finalists of WC2011 were from Asia. So that should tell you the minimal difference between top 3.

Posted by Ain_EL_Sabet on (February 24, 2014, 22:36 GMT)

Afghan lions warm welcome to Bangladesh and all the best to shir-e-Khorassan (Na, man afghani nist, Bangladeshi hastam) . I dont know whether cricket is popular in Afghanestan but we Bangladeshi were originally a football nation but recently turned a cricket nation and I hope afghan people turn into cricket nation soon .

Posted by kumarsSansai on (February 24, 2014, 22:34 GMT)

India not deserving to win Asia cup. India bowling attack is really worst as compare to any team in the world. even i am thinking BD bowling attack is batter than Indian attack. if people don't want to trust me then see NZ tour. see second test second innings.

Yes i agree India have good batsman like Kohli, Pujara and dhawan also. But it's 11 players game and in indian side other players are in team because of Indian bad politics. Rohit sharma is 1 example.

i am an Indian. but right now Pakistan is good team.Pakistan bowling attack world know about it and once again they will prove that with Asia cup win. Pakistan bowling is really nice...

Posted by kc69 on (February 24, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

Haha..all the form, records, stats are useless its just the team that performs on the given day wins, remember guys every team plays each other only once so each match gets crucial.And bladerunner buddy you seem to be a professional comedian.BEST OF LUCK TO ALL TEAMS!!!

Posted by viru-319-219 on (February 24, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

Starting XI for India should be 1) Dhawan 2) Rohit 3) Kohli 4) Karthik 5)Rayudu 6)Binny 7) Jadeja 8)Ashwin 9) Bhuvi 10) Shami and 11) Aaron. Personally I would have liked Yusuf Pathan or Uthappa as a replacement for Dhoni and mostly Yusuf because it is temporary replacement and also because of his ability to win games single handedly in subcontinent. He is as dangerous as Dhoni at 6 if not more on slow tracks. Bangladesh tracks are slower than Indian tracks and he would have been a real Asset to have in a tournament where spinners are going to bowl most of their overs. I am eagerly waiting for Irfan to get fit and replace Jadeja on away tours coming up. He makes TEAM INDIA balanced on fast tracks. Irfan and Shami can open the bowling for INDIA in ODIs (away) with two among Aaron/Umesh/Pandey/Zaheer/Bhuvi/Ishant/Kulkarni/Awana or some one else as change bowlers. This way we can have 4 pacers and would like Mishra to be the first choice spinner (very unlikely bcoz of Dhoni).

Posted by wapuser on (February 24, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

good luck Afghanistan.5 asian teams together wow.

Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (February 24, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

Afghanistan Cricket Board is doing nothing for these talented players. Afghanisitan team needs lots of test matches against top quality opposition if they are to improve.

Tests are the real cricket, ODI results really not that important.

Posted by naimurchowdhury32 on (February 24, 2014, 21:12 GMT)

No point of these one off tournaments really. Unless Afghanistan play regular test series against top opposition, they will never improve.

Posted by denkiller on (February 24, 2014, 21:07 GMT)

Best of luck to all teams

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 24, 2014, 19:58 GMT)

yes, hosts can still rise to the occasion, and 'winning the cup' that'd be dream come true, but I never said that; that my be others' definition of success, but under the circumstances, that's not mine for bd.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:58 GMT)

best of luck to Afghanistan,they deserve to be in the Asia cup and in this tournament they will learn alot of things and will upset some of the asian teams.wish them best luck because of thier fair and interesting play of cricket to the cricket fans.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

tanx for all your support guys I hope afghanistaan beat some strong teams

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 24, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

@BowledYa: dude, I didn't believe in when nz came in town last time, I didn't believe in when asiacup came in town last time, and, in the same token, I don't believe in this time either, but who knows... that's the point you missed in your post.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

i am looking at a finisher in the Indian team and unable to find one. Binny would have to be played and he needs to score and be the finisher, along with Jadeja and R Ashwin. Binny's bowling will be put to the sword due to the conditions, but he should get to play all the games.

My line-up: Dhawan, Rohit, Pujara, Kholi, Rahane, Karthik, Binny, Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Aaron.

Actually would have preffered Kumar/Mishra to play as the fifth specilist bowler, but somehow i think an extra batsmen would be taken by India to chase the tall scores... My choice would be to play Mishra/Kumar..

Any which ways, do not see India winning this one, if they can go to the finals, we should be happy.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

Pakistan is favorite to win, good luck Green team

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

still more to come for Mohammad Nabi and All Afghans, if you struggle hard you will reach to Peak. best of Luck Afghans

Posted by BowledYa on (February 24, 2014, 19:19 GMT)

@ i_amVIVA. And yes, you probably believe in fairies as well. BD winning the cup would be like a fairy showing up at your door tomorrow, to your delight!

Posted by CodandChips on (February 24, 2014, 19:07 GMT)

Pakistan need to improve their batting. Sri Lanka need to be less reliant on their "big-guns", especially when you consider that all 3 have underwhelming ODI records. India need to improve their bowling, but I reckon they'll take it easily, even without Dhoni to save them with the bat. Bangladesh and Afghanistan just need to enjoy the ride. Afghanistan have the potential to cause 1 or 2 upsets methinks.

What about a Europe cup? England, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands? Anybody?

Bearing in mind the only team I can watch on TV in England is India, they are the only team I can make a suggestion for. I'gnoring their squad, I'd consider Samson as a keeper, because Karthik is a poor keeper. Raina and Sharma should be nowhere near the squad:

1.Dhawan 2.Sharma 3.Kohli 4.Pujara 5.Rayudu 6.Binny 7.Jadeja 8.Ashwin 9.Samson 10.Kumar 11.Shami

Pujara would add a bit more stability, given that Dhoni has had to bale out India so many times in the past (less recently), and can't be there this time.

Posted by king_julien on (February 24, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

Best of Luck to Afghanistan......even though they are playing against good ODI teams, you can never write of their fighting spirit.....expecting good show from them. I hope they become a regular in Asia cup, and if possible lets bring Nepal too into the mix.

Bangladesh has lost some heart breaking matches in recent series and in last Asia cup. I hope they can find the extra yard and finally win some.

No matter what the team strengths are India-Pakistan matches are always gripping. Hoping they meet twice in the tournament (final included) to make up for such few contests. :)

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

Afghanistan are a great team and it's good they have a go to participate!!

Posted by TheKeeper on (February 24, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

Sri Lanka seems to have the most balanced side in the series with additional strength in the form of several good allrounders. IMHO Sri Lanka are going to be the team to beat. India always perform well in the sub-continent but the bowling looks a little thin and that must be a worry - the inexperience is also a worry factor. On their day Pakistan can beat anybody, but those days are becoming lesser with the years. Batting can be inconsistent and Misbah has, more or less, single-handedly carried the batting on his shoulders for the last couple of years. A turn-around in form is due and Pakistan will hope it comes in this tournament. Afghanistan and Bangladesh is anybody's guess, but Bangladesh have the potential to win a game or two - at most. Good luck to all!

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 24, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

host bd can still create success, don't ignore them. remember their home records prior to sl series, the close games that made sl 3-0 this time, thereby, they may wake up out of all the adversaries to raise on the occasion to produce the unthinkable!!! don't count them out. and as always... Goooooooooo Tigers, Goooooooooo.

Posted by KANCHANA623 on (February 24, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

Indian team looks pathetic without Dhoni, Sachin, Schewag and Gambir. SriLanka are the favorites to win this but I feel Pakistan will give a serious fight. It's a good test for Kholi and I hope he will be sensible to earn the lost respect back by acting friendly with all the teams. If he manages to reach the finals then he has proved a point but will be warning lights for Dhoni.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

India in subcontinent is always favorite, even without Raina-Dhoni-Yuvraj. In last one year, India has best win-loss ratio among all teams, despite getting blanked out against NZ and SA.

Posted by Herath-UK on (February 24, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

Hope Sri Lanka will lift the cup.Good Luck to them.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

hi big boys of asia .theyr is no big are smal in sport how ever plays better on the day they will win

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

@sidh78... you must be blind or probably blindfolded by your teamz mesmerized appearance.. otherwise you wouldnt be praising team india.. there alot of problems in indian team which everyone jus seem to ignore.. anyway who cares since your iplz a big hit.. so njoy ....

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

it is very good for Afghanistan. 5th best TEAM of ASIA

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

To all my indian friends ... Give it a break guys ... U still think india is world class what a miserable state to be in this delusion... Please get a grip and be realistic thanks

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:21 GMT)

so the Indians here think that Afghanistan can beat the Sri Lankans? dream on. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are favourites to win this.

Posted by BowledYa on (February 24, 2014, 18:17 GMT)

I predict Afghanistan will beat Bangladesh and final result as follows: Pakistan, champs again, Sri Lanka 2, India 3, Aghanistan 4, Bangla 5.

Posted by TestOfTime on (February 24, 2014, 18:17 GMT)

@Blade-Runner, you are funny.You clearly hate India (which is fine since everyone has an opinion) but I don't think you know much about cricket. I agree with @Naked_Cricket's prediction. I think SL have the edge here because they have the most balanced side... and if Pakistan keep their heads long enough they could win the tournament. Without good bowlers and Dhoni, India are clearly a distant third.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:17 GMT)

I m verey happy so I hear afghanistan join to asia cupe so great inshallah afghan cricket team play well

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:14 GMT)

both india and bangladesh are low in confidence.onthe other hand pak and sl both have a very good chance to hit the final.for afganistan, they have nothing to lose.even a slight hard time to opponents will be a kind of win for them.wishing lions of khorasan a good future.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:06 GMT)

If form is to be considered, its either Pakistan or India. Sri Lanka winning against Bangladesh was a gift by Bangladeshi team since neither their bowlers or batters showed command over the opposite side. Given the spin strength, I would think India is favorite since Pakistan's Ajmal is off-form of late.

Afghanistan won't give up either and would try to target Bangladesh since half their team played in the local league and knows the ground, players well. But they also know, their reputation will increase by beating the former world cup winners and not Bangladesh. But Bangaldesh, on the other hand, has the belief that they can beat Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Of the other two big ones, it will depend on a 'possible' next-year-IPL deal-receiving-game play by Enamul Mushfique, Nasir, Shamsur or Al-Amin. All in all, its going to be an electrifying moment for ODIs and T20s next few weeks

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:02 GMT)

Indeed a very well-written article! Afghanistan has the potential of beating some teams in this tournament if Hamid Hassan remains healthy and also batting is crucial against India if Afghanistan wants to win against India they have outperform the Indian batting which is almost impossible. However; they have better chance against Bangladesh and Pakistan. Go lions of Khurasan.

Posted by tanstell87 on (February 24, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

Sri Lanka stand a good chance to win Asia Cup after 2008....they have been in Bangladesh for almost 1-1/2 month now & know conditions better...also Bangladesh cant be taken lightly in their own usual Pakistan will come hard with their bowlers & India with Kohli will be difficult to beat...but as an Indian fan i want VK's team to win Asia Cup again...

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

I would like to see Afghan bowling coz the seamers seem to be well built. Ind and SL have best batting lineups and without a doubt pak bowling is the best with none of the other sides even coming close. It would be nice to see Pujara at 4 as Ind top three are set and do extremely well at least in subcontinent. Good tournament very happy with Afghanistan inclusion.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

No one giving Afghanistan any odds. Remember how they shut us all up in Football? All of us write them off back then too ahead of the tournament. Never say Never. They have an outstanding bowling attack only matched by Pakistan as far as I know. If only their batting clicks, you never know.

Posted by sidh78 on (February 24, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

india is a flattrack bullies really? india won CT in engaland,CB series in Aus, tri series in westindies,T20 WC in SA,NestWest series in engaland, finalist in WC 2003 in SA in last few years. so what are yours thought on this, indian haters.plz show me any team in SC which have such sucsess.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

I am hopeful that Afghanistan national cricket team go ahead and show their talent like they showed still we will become more happy if Afghan national team play up to final or semifinal...

Posted by ATIMAYANK on (February 24, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

It will be good practice for Indians with these lower ranked weak sides. We have won the tournament most times and we will win it again. I hope these teams give us some competition so we get good practice ahead of T20 WC, so we can beat teams like Australia and South Africa. Among these teams its hard to say which one will be of any competition. We have beaten Sri Lanka far too often recently, Pakistan always loose to us in big tournaments. Bangladesh is low on confidence. May be Afganistan will put some fight. Go boys complete the formality. Jai Shri Ram. Har Har Mahadev.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

Come on Afghanistan, expecting a win against Bangladesh and for them to give Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka some hair-raising moments. If Hamid Hassan stays fit for the whole tournament then they might even win a couple of matches.

Posted by rmcsr86 on (February 24, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

@Blade-Runner I am also sri lankan but i think we dont want to over rate our team. They weren't consistence in past two series. Even they had trouble beating Bangladesh. Still we have to do more to develop bowling,fielding and batting. Any way, i wish our LIONS GooD LUCK......!

Posted by chaitanyaghai on (February 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

i think India will win the tournament they have very good batsmen...Dhoni absence is a big loss and it will bring a difference of 30 to 40 runs..... India is a team which plays best in such conditions....and dont forget they hve Kohli

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

afghani player show his talent. I pray for those

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 24, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

Very well summarized write-ups, Mr. Isam. Welcome to Bangladesh for this edition of AsiaCup, where hospitality is abound and cricket fans are crazy. Wish all the best to the teams, especially the newcomer Kabuleewala Afganistan. Despite minor probability of success, Go Tigers, as always...

Posted by Tru_Cricket_Fan on (February 24, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

Blues and Green? Why can't we have other color uniform choices.

Posted by ramz30380 on (February 24, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

To all those who are bashing the Indians let me tell u my friends that India is a reckoning force in the sub continent. The batsman run haywire, yes there is going to be a shortfall as MSD(the best finisher in world cricket in the present) is missing, but DK is not a lesser batsman! He many not have the flamboyance of MSD but he will slowly and surely grind the opposition in a manner that they dont even realise it! It will be interesting to see if Virat gives an opportunity to Ishwar Pandey. I am eager to see him in action.

A mouth watering India vs Pak final is what I predict!

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (February 24, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

"The potential of the young batting line-up - which is without the experience of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina - excites him" - I am sure Kohli rather would like to have all 3 in his side. He wanted to by Yuvi for any money in IPLi, MSD is the best finisher and Raina is the 2nd best finisher in Asia. Leaving out Raina for Asia cup is a selection mistake, may be they thought if he is not going to play in England then why play here, but then in ODI he could come back to form and play well in England, if they kept him in the Asia Cup. I do not think Raydu and Rahane are good finishers, Kohli has to do that job. It is going to be tough on kohli if the opposition scores 300.

Posted by vallavarayar on (February 24, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

Are Maldives playing? Why werent they invited?

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

I love to see Afghanistan or Bangladesh create a big upset in these games. Also wishing all the best to the debutant AFGHANISTAN...

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

Bangladesh is the runner up of the last Asia cup. I think Bangladesh will spark again like last Asia Cup. Though BD wasnt win a single game in the last series but they have a good chance here to prove themselves. I will more happy than previous if Bangladesh Play final of this Asia Cup. Best wishes for Bangladesh Team.

Posted by KANCHANA623 on (February 24, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

Points table after the tournament. 1) SL 2) Pakistan 3) Bangladesh 4) India 5) Afganistan.

Posted by Naked_Cricket on (February 24, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Possibilities of wining the tournament.

- Pakistan 30% - Sri Lanka 30% - India 25% - Bangladesh 13% - Afghanistan 2%

but Sri Lanka have better confident to beat Pakistan in the final than with India.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (February 24, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

India, Afghanistan &BD entering Asia cup as UNDERDOGS might cause big upset to the tournament favs SL & Pak. If SL bowlers don't maintain consistency & Pak batsmen fail as usual, this is quite a possibility. there will be NO added pressure on other 3:-) No one is considering Ind as favs , due to the inexperienced bowlers & IPL heroes but Zeroes over seas.Ind might win couple of matches but chances in final are very minimum.

Posted by Fogu on (February 24, 2014, 16:24 GMT)

Nice article Mr. Isam. Looking forward to the tournament. I think PK is the favourite due to their superior bowling unit followed by SL, IN, BD and Afg. I would like my countrymen (BD) to cause an upset and reach the finals like last time but they are low on confidence right now. However, we have played well enough in tournaments in the past. Hoping for a good showing by Afg. I don't know enough about them but I can picture them to be similar to PK in temperament and bowling strength albeit, they are not experienced. Go Tigers!

Posted by HamdardZurmatai on (February 24, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

I think the writer of this article has forgotten to mention that Mohammad Nabi has an experienced ex-captain in Nawroz Mangal who has led Afghanistan to many significant victories. Nawroz Mangal can help Nabi in the field and he knows how to handle the tougher situations easily. I wish Afghanistan the very best wishes for defeating the full members! May Allah Help You All My Afghan Heroes!!! Allah Mo Baryaalee Larra Inshaallah!

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (February 24, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

Nepal should also have been given an automatic entry, I believe the Afghanistan and Nepal should be given chance to play against India, Pakistan, SriLanka and Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

This is Asia cup ia probably the best in years with the inclusion of Afghanistan. Hope Bangladesh and Afghanistan cause upsets against the other 3 teams Inshallah. ... cannot wait for this tournament especially the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh. I predict a Pakistan vs SL final.... 'inexperienced' Indian batting lineup as well their bowling will let them done, hopefully Shami will be among the wickets. Bangladesh are in serious dip in form and will struggle.

Posted by jewelalam on (February 24, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

welcome to bangladesh where is great cricketing atmosphere around the world.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (February 24, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

Love the way Afghanistan have come up and aspire to become a leading force in cricket. I'm an Indian and have always been fascinated by Afghanistan - especially due to the Kabuliwala stories I read in childhood :) plus a very long historical connection between the countries. I feel Afghanistan will do very well in cricket . All the best!

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

winner of this first match will be the first finalist ....

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

all Asian strong

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

For me Pak vs Afg is exciting as Pak vs Ind... don't know why but it just excites me like no other...The last time I saw them playing, they played with their hearts on their sleeves and total commitment on the pitch.... Wish you guys the best of luck! Hope to see you in the Finals against us .... Pak vs Afg....haha cant wait!!

Posted by WTEH on (February 24, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

Good luck Afghanistan, hope you'll play better cricket than Bangladesh. BD team had enough opportunities in the international arena to show something/anything. But they just proved in and out that they do not learn from their mistakes, and not going to be a team worth watching. Hopefully, Nabi you'd be able bring some excitement to the tournament playing a correct role as underdogs..

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

Good luck team Pakistan You are the best

Posted by CherryWood_Champion on (February 24, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

I will be routing for underdogs .. Afghanistan to win this tournament. I seriously believe they will give a run for their money to the other big teams. Pakistan has serious selection problems and India under the captaincy of MSD went into the same mold, continuously selecting non-performing players.Lets see if Virat can change that trend. Bangladesh, will perform worse than the Afghanistan. SriLanka who played recently in BD will be the favorites to win the tournament.

Posted by jewelalam on (February 24, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

sounds good from afgan captain..wish you best of luck but remember all the south asian cricket tiger are participate..

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

we will prey for our dear team to win the asia cup. inshahlah we will win

Posted by Blade-Runner on (February 24, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

Sri Lanka are clear favorites to win the whole thing. They have got a far superior batting lineup and all the batsmen are in red hot form. Furthermore, they bat very deep. They've also got a very good bowling attack and the team look well balanced. Pakistan are next in line followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan. India are the weakest link here and Nepal should have been given a chance instead. There is also very good chance for Afghanistan to register a win against India here. All in all, its gonna be a very good contest between Asian cricketing giants.

Posted by hamza893 on (February 24, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

Oh, I am saying Talha's ODI debut tomorrow. Afridi smashing with the ball Misbah consistency Sohaib agression & Srilankan demise #BleedGreen

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

It will be interesting to see how Afghanistan performs in its first ever Asia cup. They have been playing the recent ICC tournaments and have performed well so you cannot call them the weakest. India mostly performs we'll on flat tracks and in absence of Dhoni, probably the best finisher in any conditions, it will be a tough challenge for India but they are the former champs so cannot be under estimated. Bangladesh has a very great advantage of home ground and they proved it last year that how much dangerous they can be. While Pakistan and Srilanka, both and equally favorites to win this Asia cup due to their recent forms. Well, hoping for a good contest. Cheers!!!

Posted by RFeynman on (February 24, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

One correction for the article: The regional competition boasts of two former world champions (Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and the current world champion (India). India still is the holder of the last ODI world cup played I believe.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

Hoping to see good fighting games. Its wide open for big 3. But Afghanistan and BD can also upset. No demons in wickets.

A big moment for Afghanistan. they will have chance to play big teams in this event and may prove their point. Always impressed with their hard work.

Good luck to all.

Posted by afghan_cric_lover on (February 24, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

Good luck Afghanistan we all are waiting for a victory against full members and im sure INSHALLAH this time our team will defeat test member , the fast bowler Hamid Hassan is back Shapoor Zadran and Dawlat zadran will also make problems for opposition batsmens ,imagine a vicotry over full members and there will be celebrations in Kabul , Kandahar , Jalalabad and all over afghanistan as people celebrated it a few motnhs ago for qualifying for the time to World Cup 2015 in History

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (February 24, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Pakistan probably look like the favourites in this tournament. I don't think India's batting looks assured with Shikhar and Rohit underperforming in the last two series and Dhoni not playing, and the less said about the bowling, the better. Sri Lanka looks like an inferior team to both India and Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

I hope afghan show good cricket and good luck to Nabi and his boys can't wait for you boys come on TV screen go go

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Tournament Results
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 8, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Afghanistan v India at Dhaka - Mar 5, 2014
India won by 8 wickets (with 106 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 4, 2014
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 129 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days