‘Difficult to bat under lights at UAE’
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who led his side at the UAE on many occasions has said that it will be difficult to bat under lights at the Asia Cup tournament as the fast bowlers get more swing in humid conditions but slower wickets mean that spinners too will play a part.
Pakistan play their home matches in the UAE and while they have done well in Tests, they struggled in ODIs at the two grounds – Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where the tournament will be hosted, having won just 17 out of 40 ODIs since 2009.
"The weather is hot, so it becomes difficult to bat in humid conditions under lights as the fast-bowlers get to swing the ball in humidity," the 31-year-old told Cricbuzz.
“We will try to access the conditions. We have two-three sessions under lights. Of course, every side will look to bat first and put runs on the board due to the hot weather.”
Pakistan have the most expertise on pitches in UAE and spinners obviously will play a part according to Sarfraz.
“Pitches are on the slower side in the UAE so spinners will have a role to play. Our batsmen and bowlers are in top form. We will look to score more than 300 if we bat first because we possess a bowling unit that can defend that total. We are not focusing on one area, we will focus on all three aspects of the game and try to put a good show.”
While spin always plays a part in the sub-continent pitches, fast bowlers have generally come out on top in the UAE. In 23 ODIs at Dubai, fast bowlers have accounted for 177 wickets as compared to spinners’ 132. In Abu Dhabi, they have taken 324 wickets in 37 ODIs while the spinners have scalped 190.
That means aggressive fast bowlers will make a difference. Bangladesh will be hoping the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain comes good.
Bangladesh have Shakib Al Hasan and Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the spin department and will be hoping that the ball grips and turns off the pitch. Tigers will also be able to bank on Nazmul Islam Apu as backup to Shakib and Mehedi.