Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir will want to use Asia Cup as the stage to redeem himself from his inglorious past. And there are four other youngsters who would want to hit consistency after good starts to their international careers.
Mohammad Amir: Asia Cup presents Pakistan’s once sensational fast bowler the biggest redemption stage since returning from a career-damaging five-year ban following the 2010 Lord’s Test that turned into one of the biggest corruption case in cricket. Amid reservations and protests from team-mates, Amir made his international return late last year and will certainly want to lead Pakistan’s charge in the Asia Cup and remind of his sensational left-arm fast bowling that earned him comparisons to the legendary Wasim Akram.
Best Bowling: 3 for 23
Hardik Pandya: Ashish Nehra calls him the “West Indian from Baroda". Among the wholesale debuts of allrounders since the Australia tour, Pandya has looked the most impressive, especially with his never-give-up body language that has held him in good stead and even won him the trust of his captain MS Dhoni. He could be the spark in the Indian eleven this Asia Cup.
Best Bowling: 2 for 37
Highest Score: 27
Batting Strike Rate: 161.00
Jasprit Bumrah: The 22-year-old has never looked flustered ever since making his international debut in Sydney. Even while bowling to some of the world’s best batsmen in Australia, he looked pretty clear about what he has to do. That has helped him succeed in every match he has played since then. His yorker-length deliveries in the death overs is a welcome addition to Indian bowling, something that has never consistently been at the disposal of Indian captains over the years.
Best Bowling: 3 for 23
Mustafizur Rahman: India wouldn’t have forgotten the left-arm medium pacer from their last tour of Bangladesh. The lean bowler seems to have very smart head on his shoulders, always trying to out-think the batsman – largely through his variation that includes intelligent cutters.
Best Bowling: 2 for 16
Dasun Shanaka: The Sri Lankan pacer introduced himself with a lively spell of fast bowling in India last month. Bowling on the green Pune track, he made Indian batsmen hop and ended up with figures of 3 for 16 in a T20 international, which triggered India’s collapse for 101. Shanaka may not find tracks anywhere similar to that in Bangladesh, but he has shown promise to excel.
Best Bowling: 3 for 16