The former fast bowler, who was arguably the best exponent of reverse swing, said that Sri Lanka have been playing well recently whereas India and Pakistan have struggled in the 50-over format.
The Lankan Lions were the finalists of the ICC World Cup 2011, but their form faded away after the mega event. The main reason for that was considered to be Tillakaratne Dilshan’s poor leadership. He took over from Kumar Sangakkara, but was unable to deliver positive results in any format of the game.
However, the Sri Lankan cricket authorities decided to re-appoint Mahela Jayawardene as captain and the move paid off. The team performed exceptionally under the leadership of the veteran batsman, who will now be confident of a strong show in the Asia Cup.
On the other hand, Pakistan and India have both suffered loses in ODI cricket recently and will be on the back foot. This made Waqar believe that the Lankan Lions will hold the edge in the tournament.
The legendary bowler said, “We have seen both India and Pakistan struggle recently in One Day Internationals with Sri Lanka doing unexpectedly well in Australia. If you go by form alone, then Sri Lanka have to be considered slight favourites, but in the sub-continent, pitches and conditions are different and will be spin friendly, so really its down to the classic case of any team that plays well on that one day will win. After all, these are good Asian sides, they all know the pitches and they all know the conditions very well.”
The first match of the Asia Cup will be played between the hosts Bangladesh and Pakistan on Sunday, March 11, 2012. The latter will be favourite to win this match, as they had recently beaten the same opposition in a three match ODI series.