Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that whoever between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will win the toss in the 2022 Asia Cup final will get a huge advantage at the Dubai International Stadium. In the Asia Cup 2022, sides chasing have won six of the eight matches in the tournament at the Dubai International Stadium, with the norm of conditions heavily in favour of the side batting second coming true. While Pakistan have won three and lost two matches in the tournament so far, Sri Lanka have been on the winning side four times while losing just once. In overall head-to-head equation in Asia Cups, Sri Lanka have won 11 matches while Pakistan have prevailed over them just five times.
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“This should be a good game which is not really a high scoring game because when you look at these two batting line-ups you feel like they are a bit volatile, a bit less mature.”
“And when you get to see such batting line-ups, then you consider the pressure of the final on a fresh pitch, you realise that bowlers will have a more dominating role. I think once again the team that will win the toss will get a big advantage. I am expecting a 140-150 kind of score and whoever will chase will be on their toes,” said Chopra on Star Sports ahead of the final.
Chopra also sees Sri Lanka leg-spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga as a key threat against the Pakistan batters. In the Super Four match between these two teams, Hasaranga picked three wickets, including of captain Babar Azam, to bowl out Pakistan for 121 and set the base for a five-wicket win.
“Wanindu Hasaranga will be a huge threat for Pakistan because in front of legspin and googly, this Pakistan lineup collapses whether it is him (Hasaranga) or Rashid Khan (the Afghanistan leg-spinner). We have seen that play out. So that will be a concern.”
In terms of Pakistan’s bowling line-up, Chopra opined that Pakistan’s pace attack, which has clocked most deliveries in excess of 145kph, will cause concerns for Sri Lanka batters, so as leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
“From Sri Lanka’s point of view, I think Pakistan pacers are quick, they have got the bounce. This fresh pitch will offer them some assistance. So that will be an issue for Sri Lanka as their batting is a bit volatile.”
“If Pakistan team is defending then I will pick Shadab Khan. He might score some runs with the bat up front and after that with legspin he can take wickets. That’s what I actually feel,” concluded Chopra.
A win in the final on Sunday will take Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup titles from five to six, while for Pakistan, it will increase from two to three.