Pakistan has won the Asia Cup on two occasions. They clinched their first title in 2000 when the tournament was held in Bangladesh. Pakistan's second triumph came in 2012, hosted by Bangladesh once again. Both victories showcased their ability to perform under pressure and emerge as champions in a competitive tournament.
Pakistan has consistently been a strong contender in the Asia Cup. They have reached the final stages of the tournament on several occasions, showcasing their competitive spirit and ability to compete against the top teams in Asia.
However, in recent times, Pakistan cricket has faced major challenges to lift the Asia Cup trophy. They have given a tough fight in every edition but haven't reached the top position since 2012. The cricket betting sites have Asia Cup odds on their websites.
In this article, we have compiled a list of things that Pakistan needs to do to regain their lost form and win the Asia Cup 2023 trophy.
1) Strong Team Selection
Pakistan should select a well-balanced team with the right mix of experienced players and promising young talent. The selection committee needs to consider factors like players' form, fitness, and suitability to different playing conditions. A cohesive team with complementary skills can make a significant difference in tournament outcomes.
When it comes to the limited-over format of cricket, Pakistan has a major void in the middle order. In a recently held 5-match ODI series against New Zealand, Pakistan's middle order displayed a slower run rate and this needs to change before the start of the Asai Cup.
2) Consistent Performances from the selected Squad
Consistency is key in tournament play. Pakistan needs to ensure that its players maintain a high level of performance throughout the tournament. This requires mental toughness, discipline, and focus. Players should be encouraged to play their natural game while avoiding reckless shots or bowling deliveries.
Consistency in all aspects of the game, including batting, bowling, and fielding, can greatly enhance their chances of winning.
3) Improving Fielding Standards
For a long time, Pakistan cricket has struggled with its weakness in fielding, and under pressure, the fielders failed to perform at their best. Pakistan needs to emphasize improving its fielding standards, including agility, throwing accuracy, catching, and ground fielding.
Sharp fielding can save crucial runs, create run-out opportunities, and provide the team with an extra edge. Regular fielding drills, fitness training, and mental preparedness can help enhance their fielding capabilities.
4) Strengthening the Bowling Attack
Bowling is one of Pakistan's traditional strengths, and they should continue to focus on building a strong bowling attack. They should identify and groom talented fast bowlers, spinners, and all-rounders who can take wickets and control the run rate.
A varied and skilled bowling attack can create pressure on opposing teams and restrict their scoring opportunities. Their primary pacer Shaheen Afridi is struggling with a major dip in his form and the team management should do something about it and help him to regain his lost form.
5) Opening Partnership
Pakistan should carefully analyze their opponents, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies accordingly. For example, their biggest strength is the opening lineup.
Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, and Babar Azam will be the key contributors and they need to be highly focused during the tournament. They need to give their team a positive start in every game so that the rest of the players can play their natural game.