We're just a few hours away from the much-anticipated Asia Cup 2018 to get underway, and the build-up to the headline fixture of the tournament has already begun. 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 the mouth-watering clash, players and experts of the sport have already started indulging in the mind games. The latest to come up to the forefront is former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman. The Indian batting maestro has made an interesting revelation ahead of the crucial clash between the fiercest rivals of the subcontinent.
According to VVS Laxman, there is one player that can pose a major threat to the Rohit Sharma led team in their title defense. Laxman believes Shoaib Malik will hold the key for Pakistan in the clash between the two sides.
"Yeah, the reason he does well against India is his experience, he is a good player... He is someone who would look to play the anchor role because he has got ability to rotate the strike, play down the ground, taking easy singles," Laxman was quoted as saying by Star Sports.
"But at the same time when he presses the accelerator, he can play the big shots and he has got an abundance of experience and he is a champion as far as the wide ball is concerned," he added.
With Kohli being excluded, Dhoni will be playing under Rohit Sharma for the upcoming tournament. 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.
India will start the tournament as the favorite, despite missing the services of Kohli. Though, they must expect tough competition from Sarfraz Ahmed's Pakistan, who won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Then there are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have quality in them, but don't seem much capable of posing threat to other two. Finally, Hong Kong will be expected to savor the chance of fighting against the best teams in the world, though, expecting them to spring a surprise is far-fetched.
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