The 16th season of the Asia Cup kicked off in Pakistan with much anticipation and excitement on Wednesday, August 30. Amidst the fervour of the tournament, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has shared his predictions for the leading run-scorer of the Asia Cup 2023 on his YouTube channel.

During a question-answer session, De Villiers was asked to offer his insights into who might claim the honour of being the top run-scorer in the ongoing tournament. His response highlighted the star power of two exceptional batsmen – Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.

De Villiers stated: “My favourites for Asia Cup definitely Virat and Babar. I haven’t seen a lot of the Sri Lankans or other players in incredible form. That’s where Virat and Babar are different. When they score runs, they score 130s-150s. They really knuckle down. I think we would see their names up there and I would be pleasantly surprised to see someone else up there.”

This prediction places a spotlight on the consistency and ability to convert starts into big scores that both Virat and Babar possess, making them standout contenders for the top run-scorer title in the Asia Cup 2023.

In the first match of the tournament, Pakistan captain Babar played a match-winning knock of 151 against Nepal. Meanwhile, Virat will be seen in action when India takes on Pakistan in their opening game of the Asia Cup 2023 on Saturday, September 1.

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Shaheen Afridi is a huge player for Pakistan: AB de Villiers

De Villiers also took a moment to discuss the importance of left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi in the Pakistan team. While assessing Afridi’s recent performances, he noted a slight deviation from the rhythm that fans are accustomed to seeing from the talented bowler.

De Villiers remarked, “Not quite the same rhythm we have seen from Shaheen Afridi in the past. I don’t know if he’s a little bit undercooked or if there’s a tiny little injury. May be he is just saving his energy for when it matters most. He may be trying to find a little bit of rhythm knowing there are much bigger games coming up. He’s a huge player for Pakistan.”

Notably, Afridi played a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory over Nepal in the opening game of the Asia Cup 2023, registering figures of 2/27 in his five overs. Pakistan secured a resounding victory in that match, winning by a substantial margin of 238 runs.

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As the Asia Cup unfolds, De Villiers’ predictions add an extra layer of excitement and intrigue to the tournament, offering fans and cricket enthusiasts something to watch out for as they keep a keen eye on the performances of Virat, Babar and other standout players in the quest for individual glory and team success.

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