Pakistan are favorites in Asia Cup, says Sanjay Manjrekar

Former India player Sanjay Manjrekar believes that India is one of the main contenders to lift the current Asia Cup, but has tipped Pakistan as the favorites that the neighboring country has played regularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pakistan has begun their Asia Cup campaign routing minnows Hong Kong by eight wickets on Sunday and have the added benefit of playing in the UAE, their "home" ground. India, led by skipper Rohit Sharma, would start Tuesday's campaign against Hong Kong, which is a dress rehearsal for their tentsclash with arch rivals Pakistan the next day. "I think Pakistan is starting out more as a favorite than India, because they have been playing in those circumstances for a while (in the United Arab Emirates) and it is a team that is booming." India naturally rests Virat (Kohli), which loses a lot of strength from the team, "Manjrekar, an ESPN critic, told PTI news agency.

He was questioned or, in the absence of Kohli, India the favorites entered the tournament. "India is clearly one of the contenders, but if you look at favoritism, (wonders) which team can be judged as the strongest.

"It is Pakistan because of where it (the tournament) is played," explained Manjrekar. According to Manjrekar, who wore the national color in 37 Tests and 74 One Day Internationals, the wrist turn duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav brought the Indian team more in balance.

"India is a very good 50 overs outfit, India in the test matches struggled a little bit overseas, but if you look at their 50-over-record, it is very good in all circumstances.

"Previously, India had strength, but the bowling was not complete, now they also have game changers in the middle, so the team wins more matches than it used to be because of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the middle 50 overs team in a long time a long time, "said Manjrekar.

India is trying to settle their misery in the middle order and Miranjar claimed that Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer should take a look at the next year's ICC World Cup in England. "At the moment Ambati Rayadu, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey are in the fight, Kedar Jadhav is also there, but I would like to see Shreyas Iyer take a look for the World Cup.

KL Rahul will get (number three) because Virat is not there, "he said. We will look at him (Rahul) and he is also another middle order option for India. So it is very important (to solve problems in the middle order). "Because India needs a few in-form reliable middle-class batsmen, so every match from now on is about settling that (middle order) issue and most other areas are being arranged," he noted.

(With PTI inputs)

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