The 2022 Asia Cup was won by Sri Lanka, as they beat Pakistan in the final of the competition in the UAE. India had to settle for third place in the Super Four standings, one position above Afghanistan.
Here is a look at some of the talking points from the Asia Cup and what we may have learned ahead of the next major cricket events, the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Kohli Is Back to His Best
Only one player scored more runs than Virat Kohli in the 2022 Asia Cup. He finished on 276 runs, just five behind Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan. The former India captain averaged 96 across his five innings. His highest score came against Afghanistan, where he hit an unbeaten 122.
It was well documented before the Asia Cup that the batsman who has received high honours in India was struggling for form. He had not been able to put big scores together consistently. The tournament in the UAE came at just the right time for the batsman as he now goes into the T20 World Cup in fine form. With Kohli being at the top of his game, it’s a big boost to India’s chances of success in Australia. As of the 19th of September, they are 3/1 joint-favourites in the T20 World Cup betting markets to lift the trophy for the second time in their history.
Questions Over Sharma’s Captaincy
Following defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, there have been some question marks about the suitability of Rohit Sharma as captain. There were times on the field when his body language suggested he was angry.
The T20 World Cup may prove to be a big tournament when it comes to Sharma’s legacy as captain of the national team. If India fails to reach the latter stages of the competition, it could lead to a change being made. Sharma took over from Kohli in all formats of the sport in 2021. He has been discussed as a potential captain for several years before then. The opening batsman did oversee series wins in England and West Indies before the Asia Cup, so the performance of his side may just have been a blip in the UAE.
Return Of Bumrah Will Help India
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the leading wicket-taker at the Asia Cup with 11 wickets. The 32-year-old was a big threat to the opposition throughout. Kumar is going to be supported in Australia by Jasprit Bumrah, who is set to return to the team.
Kumar and Bumrah are two of the best white-ball bowlers in world cricket. They have a lot of experience playing T20 cricket and both are players that Sharma will rely on in the final overs of the opposition’s innings.
Bumrah showed what he was capable of earlier this year when he had an excellent series in England. He helped his side pick up some impressive wins against one of the leading teams in the world.
India-Pakistan Continues to Be a Great Rivalry
The great rivalry between India and Pakistan continued in the Asia Cup. The two sides played each other twice in what were exciting matches. India prevailed in the opening encounter by five wickets, while at the Super Four stage, Pakistan got revenge with a five-wicket success.
India and Pakistan have been drawn in the same group at the 2022 T20 World Cup, so they are set to meet again on October 23. That could be an important game when it comes to who progresses into the next stage of the competition.
Sri Lanka Are Strong Contenders In T20 World Cup
Sri Lanka showed during the Asia Cup that they can be a big force in major tournaments. They defeated India and Pakistan on the way to the trophy. The latter came in the final, where they held their nerve.
Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, due to their ranking, they must start in the qualifying round of the T20 World Cup. They should make it through to the group stage and they are likely to be a team nobody will want to play in the competition, as they have several match-winners with the ball and bat.
The opening game of the 2022 T20 World Cup comes on the 16th of October. The four-week tournament then ends with the final on the 13th of November in Melbourne.