Arguably the second biggest ODI tournament of the year, the Asia Cup is set to get underway on Wednesday, August 30 with the curtain raiser between hosts Pakistan and Nepal at the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan. Teams like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would love to narrow down on their preferred playing XI and other combinations during the tournament to gear up for the ODI World Cup starting October 5.
While the focus will be to do well and win the continental tournament, players like India skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have added motivation to give their best as India beign their campaign on September 2 with a game against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele.
Rohit has played nine ODIs in the ongoing year thus far and scored 383 runs during the process with the help of one century and two fifties at an average of 47.87. The Indian captain is one of the most prolific run-getters in the Asia Cup, having already aggregated 745 runs in 22 games and is the second-leading run-scorer for India in the tournament. He is only behind India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar who accumulated 971 runs in the tournament from 1990 to 2012.
The Master Blaster scored 971 runs in 23 games at an impressive average of 51.10, including two centuries and seven fifties.
The 36-year-old only needs to get 226 runs in the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup to equal Sachin’s record and a run more to become India’s leading run-getter in the prestigious tournament.
Similarly, his teammate Virat, who is making a return to the ODI format of the tournament after more than nine years is also within touching distance of an enviable record. The New Delhi-born cricketer has 613 runs in 11 games that he has played in the Asia Cup (ODI) and needs just 36 runs to overtake former India captain MS Dhoni and become the third leading run-getter for India in the continental tournament.
Given Virat’s appetite for runs, surpassing Dhoni’s record seems fairly easy, however, the former India captain won’t be content with the same and would like to eye Tendulkar’s record. If Virat manages to score 359 runs then he will become the Indian batter with the most runs in the tournament.