“Gavaskar cautions Rohit and Babar ahead of Asia Cup 2023: ‘We discuss India vs Pakistan, but…'”

Amid the prevalent attention on the cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan, the renowned cricketer Sunil Gavaskar emphasizes that it would be unwise to disregard Sri Lanka’s potential to effectively defend their title in the upcoming Asia Cup.

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Following a less than satisfactory performance in the previous edition, the Team India captained by Rohit Sharma is eagerly anticipating a robust performance in the forthcoming Asia Cup. The tournament is set to be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The event is scheduled to commence this week with Pakistan facing off against Nepal on August 30. Subsequently, the much-anticipated contest between India and Pakistan is slated for September 2, marking India’s first match in the tournament.

Although the primary focus tends to gravitate towards the high-stakes match between the arch-rivals, Sunil Gavaskar, a cricket legend from India, asserts that it would be an oversight to dismiss Sri Lanka and their capability to effectively retain the championship. Gavaskar conveyed his perspective to reporters in Mumbai after being announced as the principal advisor of the Midwicket Stories.

Gavaskar stated, “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.”

It is noteworthy that Sri Lanka has secured the Asia Cup title on six occasions, second only to India’s seven victories. Sri Lanka achieved a surprising triumph in the preceding edition of the Asia Cup, held in the UAE, by defeating both India and Pakistan. However, that tournament was played in a T20 format, whereas this time the teams will engage in 50-over matches.

In terms of grouping, India finds itself in Group A alongside Pakistan and Nepal, while Sri Lanka is placed in the other group, alongside Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka is yet to finalize their squad for the continental tournament, and recent reports indicate that the team has been affected by Covid-19. As per ESPNcricinfo, Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera have tested positive for the virus.

When questioned about his predictions for the World Cup semifinals scheduled to be held in India in October-November, Gavaskar refrained from selecting favorites, underscoring that his primary concern is India’s performance.

“I am only interested in India, I am not concerned about others making it to the semifinals,” he asserted.

Regarding player workload management, Gavaskar emphasized the significance of providing rest to players dealing with minor injuries. He noted that each individual player and the physiotherapists are best suited to comprehend the players’ bodies. Resting a player with a niggle for a few days is essential, as neglecting to do so may exacerbate the injury, Gavaskar pointed out.

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