Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has named his choice for the winner of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament. The tournament which was to be held in Sri Lanka had to be moved to UAE and will be played in Dubai and Sharjah from August 27, 2022, onwards.
Seven-time champions India will defend their title having won the Asia Cup the previous two times, in the T20 format in 2016 and in the ODI format in 2018. Rohit Sharma was the captain when India won in 2018 and now he returns to defend his trophy.
India will be opening their account in the tournament on August 28, 2022, against arch-rivals Pakistan, whom they had defeated thrice in 2018. But the match in Dubai will also be the first time these two teams meet after Pakistan recorded their first-ever win over India in a World cup match when they defeated India by 10 wickets in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Shane Watson Predicts The Winner Of The Asia Cup 2022
The other teams participating in the tournament are Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and one team from Singapore, Kuwait, UAE, and Hong Kong will join them to make the main six-team tournament.
In conversation with popular sports presenter Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review, Watson backed India to retain the Asia Cup crown in the UAE.
“My predicted winner is India. That first game is going to be very special to watch because Pakistan have full belief now that they can beat this Indian team. I think, really, whoever wins that game is going to go on and win the Asia Cup. [But] I’ve just got a feeling India [will win the tournament]. They’ve got so much firepower all the way through their batting order, so it’s going to be hard to be able to contain them,” Watson told Sanjana ahead of the high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan.
Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, India will aim to lock its record-extending 8th Asia Cup title in the UAE. India’s arch-rivals Pakistan has tasted Asia Cup success on two occasions. Sri Lanka has won the tournament the second most times-5 and this time the tournament will be played in the T20 format as a precursor for the T20 World Cup 2022 which will be held in Australia in October-November.