With the 2022 Asia Cup just around the corner, former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has made some big calls in the latest episode of the ICC review. Watson picked defending champions India as overwhelming favorites to lift the Asia Cup. The quadrennial event will get underway on August 27 with the men in blue eager to defend their title in UAE. Team India kick-start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, August 28 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Speaking on the ICC review, Watson hailed India as the clear favourite to emerge victorious courtesy of their innate ability to adapt to any conditions. He added that the Rohit Sharma-led side has a lot of firepower and depth in their batting order and it will be extremely difficult to contain them.
“My predicted winner is India. They’re so strong and depending on what the conditions are, they adapt easily to them. They’ve got so much firepower all the way through their batting order, so it’s going to be hard to be able to contain them,” Waston said.
When asked about India’s biggest threat in the tournament, Watson opined that whichever team comes out triumphant in the India-Pakistan clash on Sunday will go on to win the tournament. He also said that Pakistan would back themselves to edge past a dominant Indian side and this makes the fixture even more enthralling.
“That first game is going to be very special to watch because Pakistan have full belief now that they can beat this Indian team. I think, really, whoever wins that game is going to go on and win the Asia Cup,” the Australian veteran added.
The two giants of world cricket last collided in the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. Pakistan registered their first-ever win against India in a World Cup fixture in that match. Babar Azam and his men thumped India by 10 wickets and will be hoping to reign supreme yet again.
However, Team India have been in fine fettle in T20Is having won 19 of their 24 matches since the T20 World Cup. With skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid at the helm of things, the team will go all guns blazing to defend their title in the Asia Cup.