Asia Cup 2022: Champion teams don’t rely on the toss, says Pakistan coach Saqlain

The chasing teams have won six of the eight matches in Dubai in the tournament with the conditions heavily favouring the side batting second



Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka (right) tosses the coin as Pakistan skipper Babar Azam looks on. — AFP
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka (right) tosses the coin as Pakistan skipper Babar Azam looks on. — AFP
by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sat 10 Sep 2022, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 10 Sep 2022, 9:47 PM

Everybody is anxious to see if the toss is going to play a decisive part again at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday when Pakistan lock horns with Sri Lanka in the DP World Asia Cup final.

The chasing teams have won six of the eight matches in Dubai in the tournament with the conditions heavily favouring the side batting second.

“Fact that cannot be ignored in this Asia Cup — Teams that lost most tosses in Super 4s are not in the finals. India lost all 3. Afghanistan 2. Hence spin of the coin cannot decide who gets a very significant advantage. T20 Cricket needs to explore a fairer method,” tweeted former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, who is in the Star Sports broadcast team as a commentator for the tournament in the UAE.

But Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq said teams that have the strong will to become champions don’t rely on the toss factor as it’s the performance on the field that separates winners from losers.

"If you want to become a champion team, you do not think or talk about the toss,” the legendary Pakistan spinner told reporters ahead of the final against Sri Lanka.

“You have to be champion in the first innings and second innings as well. We never talk about the toss, and we do not think like that."

Saqlain said even tail-enders like Naseem Shah, the hero against Afghanistan with two last-over sixes in a low-scoring thriller, have been trained to score important runs for the team.

“Against India, we batted very well, we chased very well against them. Against Afghanistan, the total was small, but in the end, our batting won us the game. Naseem is also a part of our batting order, all XI players bat in a team,” he said.

The Pakistan coach also shrugged off captain Babar Azam’s lack of big scores in the tournament.

“Babar is in good form. It is just that his luck is not going his way. The kind of boundaries he has hit against India. A batter with deeper eyes will say that his form is fine. It is his luck which is not going your way,” Saqlain said.

While Pakistan have the bigger players, the young Sri Lankan team will carry great momentum into the final with four straight wins in the tournament.

Dasun Shanaka’s team have made a stirring comeback after losing the first game to Afghanistan when they were bowled out for 105.

“It was the very first match of the tournament and we were playing here for the first time after a while. The wicket had a lot of grass. What we could not control in the first game was the early wickets. So after that we had a plan — not to throw the wickets away. So the plan has been to build partnerships,” Shanaka said of the team’s run to the final despite the early setback.

The Sri Lankan captain then praised the team’s young opening batsman Pathum Nissanka for his match-winning half-centuries against India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage.

“He has been outstanding for us. The role that we expected from him, he has played that very well and that is very important for the whole team,” Shanaka said.

“He has got a great career ahead of him. He is a very talented batsman.”


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