Pakistan Have The X-Fator Going In Their Favour Says Mahela Jayawardene
Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene thinks that the Asia Cup has played an important role in providing a great platform for the emergence of new cricketing talent.
India and Pakistan have been clubbed with qualifiers Hong Kong in Group A of the tournament and will lock horns on September 19. Three possible India Pakistan encounters will be the USP of the Asia Cup.
The 42 years old former cricketer, Mahela Jayawardene, who played a record 443 ODIs for Sri Lanka, feels that India will still be a force in the tournament despite the absence of their regular captain Virat Kohli. The title defenders will be led by Rohit Sharma in this tournament.
There are two assured India-Pakistan matches in which one in the group league and other match is at the Super Four stage. The fans of India and Pakistan will be hoping for the possible summit showdown on September 28 too.
Mahela Jayawardene wrote in his column for the Times of India, “The Asia Cup has played an important role in the development of cricket in Asia and this year’s tournament in the UAE has even more spice by the emergence of a fifth major force in the region, Afghanistan, a team full of street-smart mystery. The tournament has played a really valuable role in providing a platform for the emergence of new talent. For me, it was the stunning arrival of Ajantha Mendis back in 2008 in Pakistan, where he bamboozled all opponents with his unique style. I am confident we will see some new stars emerge this time, too. For all teams playing in the 2019 ICC World Cup this is also the ideal time to blood new talent.”
Commenting on the match between India and Pakistan, Jayawardene says, “The tournament is of course special also because it’s one of the few occasions when we get to witness the spectacle and drama of an India-Pakistan contest. It’s always a mouth-watering one and millions will be looking forward to the big game next Wednesday. Both teams are probably also the favourites going into the tournament, although it remains an open competition by virtue of the fact that no team is dominating away from home right now.”
Asia Cup will be a great chance for India to see how the team reacts to pressure situations in the absence of captain Virat Kohli, who has been rested after a grueling England tour.
Mahela Jayawardene also praised Pakistan saying that they have the ‘X-Factor’ going in their favor. The UAE has also been their home ground since international cricket has remained suspended on their soil.