Usually, owing to every prestigious tourney, all the eyes will be on the selected players who can make the difference. However, over the years, some players grabbed all the headlines despite being the fresh face in the side. With the Asia Cup 2018 just around the corner, there would be at least five players who can be the dark horses and would want to leave an indelible mark in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Likewise, here we’ve figured out five players who can be the dark horses of the upcoming Asia Cup 2018:
5. Asif Ali:
The flamboyant right-handed batsman can be Pakistan’s trump card in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 in UAE. Pakistan has always got the exceptional players who can make the difference for them on big stages.
Right from Mohammed Amir to the recent Shaheen Afridi, everyone made their mark for Pakistan in distinct tournaments. Surprisingly, this time, a batsman from Pakistan can be considered as a dark horse of Asia Cup’s 14th edition.
Similarly, the southpaw Fakhar Zaman came into a tourney as a fresh face and smashed a fantastic century against India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 finale to see Pakistan lifting the trophy before registering a double ton against Zimbabwe.
Much to the same, Ali got enough calibre under his belt. His insane hitting and the nice feet movement for the spinner will certainly push everyone to keep their odds on him during the Asia Cup 2018.
4. Mujeeb Ur Rahman:
Here is the yet another youngster who can certainly make a massive difference. Whenever Afghanistan takes on the opponent teams, probably, all the eyes will be on Rashid Khan for his incredible ability.
However, wily customer Zadran might make the difference this time. His ability to turn the new ball and the venue, UAE being very supportive to the spinners, one can find Zadran leaving the batsmen is some trouble.
The addition of Mujeeb will also make Afghanistan the underdogs of the tournament. They have got the luxury players on the team, who can be changed the course of the game in a split moment.
Mujeeb has also got enough experience through Indian Premier League (IPL) which might do a world of good for the youngster. However, it would be interesting to see how he performs in Asia Cup 2018.
3. Dananjaya de Silva:
The flamboyant Sri Lanka player Dananjaya de Silva has the required essence in his to serve victories for Islanders. He has got the solid technique to deal the quality, fast bowlers and got the nack of scoring runs thick and fast.
He surprised South African fast bowlers in the recent series with his stupendous strokes and eventually, earned a promotion in his batting as well. Of late, he became a regular in all formats of the game for Sri Lanka.
Besides batting, the youngster also got the nack of picking wickets with his loopy off-spinners. His superb form with the bat and the option of being a part-time bowler, he can make the difference for Sri Lanka during the tournament.
All in all, it is intriguing to see him in the big event. Concluding on a decent stat, Dananjaya accumulated a stunning century against Indians in the recently-concluded Test series.
The nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq can be a vital cog in the wheel for Pakistan. Of late, he has been the consistent run-scorer for Pakistan in the limited-overs format. His consistency will probably be a significant asset for the team.
With Zaman striking all the headlines, the classy Imam-ul-Haq might push the ranks to make things happening for Pakistan. Possibly, he might end as the leading run-scorer as well.
The flashy batsman has the guts to take down the world-class bowlers in powerplay overs and very impressed with his feet to the spinners as well. He controlled hitting will certainly make him a candidate to be the dark horse of the tournament in UAE.
However, the Pakistan opening batsman has the required goods to do it for his side. The only thing that Imam needs to be careful is with his ”carried-away” approach which denied him converting his starts into a big one.
1. Kedar Jadhav:
Team India has got the star-studded lineup for the ODI format. With Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli being in the top-order and then followed Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya in the lineup.
Meanwhile, the fit and raring to go, Kedar Jadhav might not get the required attention from the opposition. Despite being a bit underrated, Jadhav has got the all kinds of requirements to seal it for India.
His superlative approach to the game with willow and the qualities of being the finisher for the side, Jadhav has got the lot to offer. He has been out of the team for his regular injury concerns.
However, to be back in the Indian side as a regular player, Jadhav wants to have one good tournament under his belt, and this Asia Cup can be the one for him.
Besides batting, his unusual bowling will also help Kedar Jadhav to make an impact on the game. All in all, one can see Kedar talking with sound performances if everything falls into place for him in UAE.