The Key Match Ups to keep an eye on in the forthcoming Asia T20
Asia T20 Key Match Ups
Babar up against Rashid, Kohli versus Hasaranga
The highly anticipated Asia T20 is about to commence in a few days time. Traditionally, it is country versus battle, but there is also player vs. player, the mini-battles that often define a game. Here are our top four picks for the Asia T20 matches that may prove to be the most compelling.
The match up that everyone is waiting for: Babar vs. Rashid
Babar Azam playing fast bowling is a sight of beauty. He never feels hurried. It appears as though his idea of fun is having things thrown at him at 90 mph. So, naturally, opposition teams will try to bring spinners into the game when the ace batsman is at crease. But while not allowing the No. 1 batter in T20Is pace on the ball may appear a good plan, it doesn't always work in your favour. Unless your name is Khan. Rashid Khan. The spin wizard hailing from Afghanistan has dismissed the Pakistan captain five times, and conceded just 59 runs off 48 balls. In fact, every single time they have met in a T20 match, Rashid has gotten Babar out.
The one that has just started: Hasaranga vs. Kohli
It is always eventful to see Virat Kohli against bowlers that move the ball away from him. He will compete against another practitioner of this technique at the Asia T20. Sri Lanka’s spin sensation Wanindu Hasaranga. Okay, choosing a leg spinner is a little dishonest, but come on. They have been rivals who have become friends and then again adversaries. Just too juicy, really. At Bangalore, Kohli and Hasaranga shared the same dressing room and the euphoria of an unlikely run to the playoffs. Hasaranga was the highest wicket taker for Bangalore this year. They are now back to preparing each other's downfall. And either outcome is possible. Hasaranga is superb against right-handers- they make up for 86 of his 116 T20I wickets but Kohli averages 62 against leg spin. This battle is in its early stages since Hasaranga has only bowled six balls at Kohli in T20 cricket, for four runs and no wicket.
One that very few know of- Rajapaksa vs. Shadab
When he is not busy retiring and unretiring from cricket, Bhanuka Rajapaksa is a pretty decent wrist spin hitter. And, Shadab Khan would not like that. These two have faced each other on three occasions that has resulted in a total of 45 runs in 29 balls and only one dismissal. Sri Lanka will not face Pakistan in the group stages but if they play against each other in later stages, this battle will be the one to keep an eye on.
Mushfiqur vs. Hardik, the match up that is long due
Over the previous six years, much has happened in the world. A virus. A vaccine. A new system of stars. A thing known as the Griddy. What hasn't happened in 2344 days, though, you ask? Hardik Pandya and Mushfiqur Rahim squaring off in a T20 match.
For those who are unaware of this legendary match up, let us roll back the clock and have a look at the famous incident. It was March 23, 2016. India were about to be eliminated from the T20 World Series against Bangladesh. An equation that formerly read 11 runs off of six balls became two runs off of three, all thanks to Mushfiqur. He screamed into the darkness while punching the air, his emotions gushing out. Mushfiqur's celebration, however, was unwarranted. Hardik was bowling the final over of a T20 defence for the very first time back then. He's become a much improved bowler now.
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