Abu Dhabi: One of the biggest cricketing tournaments, Asia Cup, is all set to kick-start in Dubai with six teams– India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Bangladesh– battling it out to clinch the coveted trophy.
While the India-Pakistan clash is being perceived as the main highlight of the tournament, all the team captains have made it clear that they are not going to take any side lightly.
India, who have won the tournament six times, are among the top contenders to lift the trophy. The highest-ranked team, however, would definitely miss the expertise of Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the tournament.
Other teams in Group A, alongside India, include Pakistan and Hong Kong. While Pakistan has won the tournament twice, Hong Kong would be hoping to improve their earlier record in the event where they had made an early exit by losing matches in the group stage.
In Group B, five-time Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka will fight against Afghanistan and Bangladesh to continue with their good record in the tournament.
While Bangladesh are yet to get their hands on the Asia Cup trophy, Afghanistan had managed only one victory in their sole appearance in the tournament in 2014.
Sri Lanka had already received a huge jolt in the form of right-hand batsman Dinesh Chandimal, who was ruled out of the tournament owing to a finger injury. But pacer Lasith Malinga’s return to the ODI squad would definitely be an added advantage for the team.
The tournament will kick start with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka taking on each other in the opening clash of Group A on Saturday at the Dubai International Stadium.
Following are the full Asia Cup Squads for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka:
India- Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Shardul Thakur
Pakistan- Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari
Bangladesh- Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Ariful Haque, Mominul Haque, Abu Hider, Rubel Hossain, Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Islam, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nazmul Hossain Shanto
Sri Lanka- Angelo Mathews (c), Amila Aponso, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Upul Tharanga
Hong Kong- Anshuman Rath (c), Aizaz Khan, Arshad Mohammad, Babar Hayat, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan nawaz, Cameron McAuslan, Scott McKechnie, Nadeem Ahmed, Nizakat Khan, Kinchit Shah, Jhatavedh Subramanyan, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Khan
Afghanistan- Asghar Afghan (c), Javed Ahmadi, Munir Ahmad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Aftab Alam, Ihsanullah, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran