Bumrah heads in to the 2018 Asia Cup as the No.1 ranked ODI bowler and will aim to maintain his top spot. But closing in on the Gujarat bowler is Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan
Bumrah heads in to the 2018 Asia Cup as the No.1 ranked ODI bowler and will aim to maintain his top spot. But closing in on the Gujarat bowler is Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan

India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah heads in to the 2018 Asia Cup as the No.1 ranked ODI bowler and will aim to maintain his top spot. But closing in on the Gujarat bowler is Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who is just 20 points behind Bumrah.

“Being at the top of the ICC rankings is a matter of great pride for me,” Bumrah told icc-cricket.com ahead of the Asia up starting 15 Septmember.

“We will be playing against some leading players and I know the conditions can be challenging but I’m hoping to be at my best,” he added.

Pakistan’s Hasan Ali, who is at number three position with 742 points can also take the took spot with good showing in the tournament. Other notable names in the top ten who would be aiming to amass points are Kuldeep Yadav (sixth) and Yuzvendra Chahal (joint-ninth).

In the batting department, in the absence of Virat Kohli, leading the chart with 911 points, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, second in the rankings, would be looking to close in on the gap. He is currently on 825 points.

“I know Virat is way ahead in terms of rating points but this is definitely a chance to consolidate my position at number two and gain some valuable ranking points,” saib Azam adding, “We as a team are looking forward to the Asia Cup and I have some extra incentive in my individual ranking.”

Several openers who figure prominently in the rankings will be seen in action, including the India pair of Rohit Sharma (fourth) and Shikhar Dhawan (ninth), Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal (12th) and Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman (16th).

The Asia Cup commences with a match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Dubai on Saturday. Afghanistan, qualifiers Hong Kong, India and Pakistan get into action later as they try to qualify for the Super Four stage and get more tournament practice with just eight months to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in Group A while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka form Group B for the preliminary stage. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Fours with the top two sides from there making the final.