Asia Cup 2018: Amir, Mortaza Must Shake Off Rust in Virtual Semifinal – Venkatesh Prasad
Former India pacer, Venkatesh Prasad feels Pakistan have to be more dominant against Bangladesh to book their place in the Asia Cup final 2018.
However, Bangladesh and Pakistan are not in their form. They have not showed consistency throughout the series. Both the teams are lagging behind with their batting line up as well as fielding. Meanwhile, Bangladesh did well with three runs win over Afghanistan in the last game.
That said, both teams – not in their best form – will have to show character and form in plenty in the virtual semifinal. The sides have lacked the X-factor. Failure of the top-order, poor fielding and lack of bite in the bowling has been their bane. With their backs to the wall, Bangladesh did well to hold their nerve to pull off a three-run win against Afghanistan, and that should give them the added motivation to go all out against Pakistan,” Venkatesh Prasad added.
Venkatesh Prasad hopes both the teams will give their best and their key bowlers will put some pressure on the opposition.
Mohammad Amir is the backbone of Pakistan, and the team management will surely want something good from him. He was economical against Hong Kong as well as India. Amir’s primary job will be to attack with the new ball and pick up some early wickets.
“Both teams will hope for their key bowlers to get into the groove in this game. For Pakistan, it is important for Mohammad Amir to strike. The left-arm pacer has gone wicketless in the three matches he has played so far in the tournament. While he was economical against Hong Kong and India, in their first meeting, he looked listless in the previous game against the arch-rivals. His primary job is to attack with the new ball, and on that count, he has been far from successful in this event,” Prasad opined.
Furthermore, Venkatesh Prasad feels Mortaza need to be more cautious against the ‘Men in Green.’ He was looking pale and had lost his pace in recent times.
He moreover, lost his edge due to some injuries. Mortaza can trouble the batsman with his deadly off cutters and yorkers. He needs to be more careful with Pakistan and put up some show with his bowling attack.
“Similarly, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has to shake off the rust. The seasoned pacer has lost pace and looks a pale shadow of his younger self. Injuries have slowed him down, and he’s definitely lost the bite in his bowling. The dangerous off-cutters and yorkers which the batsmen once dreaded are missing from his armour. Mortaza will have to reinvent himself quickly to stay relevant,” Venkatesh Prasad signed off.
Pakistan and Bangladesh will play against each other on September 26 (Wednesday) in Abu Dhabi.