New Delhi, Aug 30: All-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin stated Pakistan as the strongest contender for the Asia Cup 2023 and a favorite alongside India.
While talking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said Pakistan’s success depends much on skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan's performance.
"If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan give consistent performances with the bat in the middle-order, then Pakistan are going to be one hell of a team going into this Asia Cup and World Cup. It will take some beating. Pakistan is an exceptional side," Ashwin said.
He also explained the reason behind rating Pakistan so high ahead of India.
"It all comes down to their squad depth. Pakistan has always produced extraordinary cricketers, because of tape ball cricket, they have always had fast bowlers coming through their ranks. Their batting has been special in the late 90s and 2000s,” Ashwin said.
“But their exposure to different leagues has been a major reason for their re-emergence in the last 5-6 years. They have PSL. In the recent BBL drafts they were at least 60-70 Pakistan players," he further added.
The Asia Cup kicks off today, Pakistan will be playing against debutant Nepal at Multan Cricket Stadium. Pakistan will start the tournament on a high note as they went to the top of the ODI ranking after beating Afghanistan 3-0 in the series. (IANS)