Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin believes that Pakistan is a strong side and defeating them in the continental event would be very difficult as the consistent performances from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan makes their side even more dangerous.
Claiming India and Pakistan as the tournamant favourites, Ashwin said on his Youtube channel, "If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan consistently dish out performances with the bat, Pakistan will be one hell of a team heading into this Asia Cup and the World Cup. It will take some beating since Pakistan is an extraordinary team."
Pakistan is to play India in the third match of the tournament on Saturday at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka. Indian team have won the last three ODIs against Pakistan.
Ashwin feels the depth in the Pakistan side is very good and that thing separates them from other teams at the Asia Cup.
"It is all down to their (Pakistan's) squad depth. Pakistan has invariably developed exceptional cricketers. Thanks to its tape-ball cricket, they have always produced an incredible series of pacers. Also, their batting has been superior during the late 90s and 2000s," Ashwin noted.
"But, the exposure they have got to various (T20) leagues has been the primary reason for their re-emergence in the previous five or six years. They also have the PSL (Pakistan Super League). Additionally, in the recent BBL (Big Bash League) drafts, there were at least 60-70 Pakistan players," he added.
Pakistan's opening fixture at the Asia Cup 2023 sees them taking on Nepal in Multan.
(With PTI inputs)