VVS Laxman believes that Shoaib Malik can cause trouble for Rohit Sharma and company, when India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the forthcoming Asia Cup. While the 14th edition of the Asia Cup will be held in UAE from September 15 to 28, India and Pakistan will lock horns with each other at Dubai on September 19.
"Yeah, the reason he does well against India is his experience, he is a good player of spin bowling because in the middle invariably India will look to attack with the spinners and they've got two quality risk spinners now in, Chahal and Kuldeep while Pakistan is evidently dependent on their opener Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam at number 3," Laxman was quoted as saying by Star Sports.
He also reckons that Malik holds the key for Pakistan if they are to do well in the six-team tournament.
"Shoaib Malik is someone who would look to play the anchor role because he has got ability to rotate the strike, play down the ground, taking easy singles," Laxman asserted.
"But at the same time when he presses the accelerator, he can play the big shots and he has got abundance of experience and he is a champion as far as the wide ball is concerned," he added.
The 2018 Asia Cup will see six teams being divided into two groups. While India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are slotted in Group A, the Group B comprised of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Pakistan are deemed as the most favourite to win the competition as they have the experience of playing in UAE more than any other participating nation. Pakistan will start their Asia Cup campaign on the second day of the tournament against Hong Kong.
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup 2018:
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Sarfaraz Ahmed(c), Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir