Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has chosen his team for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament. The tournament, which was scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka, has been relocated to the UAE and will begin on August 27, 2022, in Dubai and Sharjah.
India will defend their title after winning the Asia Cup the previous two years, in T20 format in 2016 and ODI format in 2018. Rohit Sharma led India to victory in 2018, and he is back to defend his title.
India will make their tournament debut on August 28, 2022, against archrival Pakistan, whom they defeated three times in 2018.
However, the match in Dubai will be the first time these two teams meet since Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets in the 2021 T20 World Cup, their first-ever win over India in a World Cup match.
The tournament will also feature teams from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, as well as one each from Singapore, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.
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.
India, captained by Rohit Sharma, will seek a record-extending eighth Asia Cup title in the UAE. Pakistan, India’s archrival, has won the Asia Cup on two occasions.
Sri Lanka has won the tournament five times, and this time it will be played in the T20 format as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup 2022, which will be held in Australia in October and November.