Indian spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is currently the top-ranked bowler in the ICC charts, and he will look to maintain his position at the top when the much-anticipated 2018 Asia Cup begins in UAE on Saturday.
Things won't come off easy as expected for the Indian fast bowler, who will face stiff competition from Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan, who sits on the second spot with just 20 points separating them.
“Being at the top of the ICC rankings is a matter of great pride for me,” Bumrah told ICC ahead of the Asia Cup, which is scheduled to get underway on 15 Septmember. “We will be playing against some leading players and I know the conditions can be challenging but I’m hoping to be at my best,” he added.
Pakistan's Hasan Ali at third spot with 742 points is another contender who could pose a challenge to Bumrah. Other notable names included in the top ten consist of Kuldeep Yadav (sixth) and Yuzvendra Chahal (joint-ninth), who will also be looking to close the gap on their compatriot.
While in the batting charts, Pakistan's Babar Azam in the second spot will be looking to close the gap on Virat Kohli, who is set to miss the tournament after being rested. In Virat Kohli's absence, Rohit Sharma will be leading the side and Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy.
India and Pakistan, the fiercest of rivals, have been pitted in the same group, and are set to lock horns with each other on September 19. Days ahead of this headline fixture, players and experts of the sport have already started indulging in the mind games.
The latest to weigh on the debate was VVS Laxman. The Indian batting maestro thinks there is one player that can pose a major threat to the Rohit Sharma led-side in their title defense quest. Laxman believes Shoaib Malik will hold the key for Pakistan in the clash between the two sides.
The much-awaited Asia Cup 2018 will kickstart in UAE on September 15 when Bangladesh and Sri Lanka take on each other in the first match in Dubai. Unlike the 2016 edition, which was held in a T20 format, this year's tournament marks the return of the 50-over format. India are the defending champions, and are the most successful team in the tournament's history.
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