‘We talk about India vs Pakistan but…’: Gavaskar warns Rohit and Babar before Asia Cup 2023


After a disappointing outing in the previous edition, Rohit Sharma-led Team India will hope for a strong show in the upcoming Asia Cup, which is being jointly hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The tournament starts this week with Pakistan locking horns with Nepal on August 30. They will then meet India in the most awaited contest on September 2, which will also be India’s first match in the tournament.

Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar speaks during a press conference organised to announce him as the principal advisor of ‘Midwicket Stories’ in Mumbai(PTI)

As the focus remains on the marquee clash between the arch-rivals, India legend Sunil Gavaskar feels one should not rule Sri Lanka and their ability to successfully defend the title.

“In the Asia Cup, we are talking about India-Pakistan rivalry… But don’t forget Sri Lanka are also there, and they have been winning the Asia Cup. The rivalry between these three countries is always something special,” the ex-India batter told reporters in Mumbai after he was revealed as the principal advisor of the Midwicket Stories.

Notably, Sri Lanka have won the Asia Cup title six times, the second-most after India (seven). They had stunned both India and Pakistan to win the previous edition of the Asia Cup, which was played in UAE. The tournament, however, was played in a T20 format and this time the teams will engage in 50-over contests.

While India have been clubbed in Group A alongside Pakistan and Nepal, Sri Lanka are placed in the other group, which also have Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka are yet to release their squad for the continental tournament and as per latest reports the unit has also been hit by Covid-19. As per a report by ESPNcricinfo Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera tested positive for the virus.

‘I am only interested about India’

While most ex-cricketers have given their semifinal prediction for the World Cup, which will be played in India during October-November, Gavaskar refused to pick his favourites saying he is only bothered about India’s performances.

“I am only interested about India, I am not bothered about the others making it to the semifinals,” he said.

On the query of managing workloads of the players, Gavaskar said it will be crucial to rest players who have niggles.

“Every individual knows and understands his body the best. The physiotherapist also know. Players know where they have a niggle and where their body is failing.

“It is necessary to rest that player because if you do not rest him for three-four days at that point in time, then that injury may aggravate,” he said.


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