The 2023 Asia Cup Cricket tournament will take place in Pakistan from September 2 to 17. The event will feature 6 teams, and they will compete in the One Day International (ODI) format. It is considered the preparatory series leading up to the 2023 Cricket World Cup. The five full members of the Asian Cricket Council, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh will join the tournament. This year, Nepal will also play in the Asia Cup as they qualified by winning the 2023 ACC Men's Premier Cup.
On January 9, 2023, the tournament's groups and format were unveiled, dividing the six teams into two groups of three each. Bangladesh is in Group B along with Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. We will look at Group B's prospects in Asia Cup 2023.
Analysis of Group B
Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka will play in Group B at the 2023 Asia Cup. These three teams are ICC's full members. Hence, they did not need to go through qualifying.
Sri Lanka will join the tournament as defending champions. Sri Lanka appeared 13 times in the Asia Cup and won six times, becoming the second most successful team. They delivered incredible performance in the 2022 Asia Cup. The Lankans were unstoppable throughout the tournament. However, a 105-run loss against Afghanistan in the opening match was the only dissatisfaction. After that, in the rest of the matches, the opponents did not get any chance to beat Sri Lanka. In the final match, they defeated Pakistan by 23 runs to take home the 6th title. They were not much stronger than their opponents, but their dedication helped them win the tournament.
However, this year, Sri Lanka is struggling in the ODI format as they lost most of the ODI series in the last couple of years. Also, they are having a bad time in ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League too. So far, they won only 7 matches out of 24.
On the other hand, another group member Afghanistan is a bit stronger. This will be Afghanistan's third appearance. Afghanistan showed a pretty steady performance in the Asia Cup. They reached the super four twice in 2018 and 2022. The Afghans have been very consistent in recent ODI performances. They drew an ODI series against Sri Lanka in November 2022. Before that, they won a series 3-0 against Zimbabwe. Furthermore, Afghanistan also played well in the ICC Super League. They won 11 ODIs out of 15 matches played and lost only three. So, in the ODI format of Asia Cup 2023, Afghanistan has a great chance to outperform the other two teams (Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) of Group B.
However, among the three teams of Group B, Bangladesh is the favorite to become the group champion and proceed to Super Four. Bangladesh played some outstanding ODI series recently. For example, they beat India by 2-1 in December 2022. After that, they beat England in one ODI game. And, recently, Bangladesh won two series against Ireland. Considering these facts, Bangladesh might win both matches in the group stage. And Afghanistan might be the second team to proceed to the Super Four.
Bangladesh's Prospects in Asia Cup 2023
Bangladesh has appeared in 13 Asia Cups so far. However, the Tigers don't have many satisfactory outcomes; they are yet to win a tournament. The best were runners-up in 2012 and 2018. Bangladesh played 45 matches so far in the Asia Cup and won only 7, and lost 38 matches. So, Bangladesh's performance in the Asia Cup has been quite poor. But, this year, Bangladesh will join the tournament with a strong team. And the country has been preparing to give a good fight. And Bangladesh's most recent performances also portray their determination and dedication.
Although we are over three months away from the Asia Cup Cricket 2023, Bangladesh's recent performances against Ireland, England, and India make them one of the top contenders. Bangladesh's 2-1 ODI series win against India in December 2022 is one of the top inspirations to perform better in the next matches. And we have seen improvements in the England and Ireland series. Tigers have shown incredible performances on the home ground as well as abroad.
If the Bangladesh cricket team can continue its current performance, the county has a great chance to win the Asia Cup this year or at least they can reach the final. However, Bangladesh didn't play against Pakistan lately. So, they will need to analyze Pakistan's recent performance and playing style to find a way to beat them. Other than that, Bangladesh is well aware of other opponents such as India, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.
As a preparation for the ODI World Cup 2023, this year's Asia Cup will be held in the ODI format. It is expected that, in the upcoming Asia Cup Cricket 2023 tournament, Group B matches will be exciting as all three teams (Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka) have enough experience. Group A contains India, Pakistan, and Nepal.