Best Performers of Asia Cup -2018

Eleven of the tournament – Asia Cup 2018

It’s time to pick the best eleven of the Asia Cup 2018! At the start, I must say that it was a slightly peculiar tournament. While the scheduling of the fixture itself was terrible, most of the games were one-sided which took the excitement away from the fans. India have been dominant in the limited overs format in recent times. But the decline of teams like Sri-Lanka and Pakistan over the last few years has been perturbing. Bangladesh have always shown promise but they somehow find a way to lose at the big stage. And in Afghanistan, we have a fresh team with great potential rising up the ranks.

There were notable performances by only a few players in the tournament. Some batsmen performed cut above the rest and the spinners had a wonderful time on sluggish, turning tracks. Let’s start picking the team with the openers

  1. Rohit Sharma (C) – Easy pick to begin with. The Indian openers were outstanding in the tournament. After missing the England tests, everyone had an eye on Rohit’s performance and he didn’t disappoint. While his batting was simply magnificent, it was fascinating to watch him as a captain. He has been captaining Mumbai Indians in the IPL and has produced great results. But this performance as a captain in a multi-national tournament was quite remarkable. He showed great composure and made good tactical decisions in pressure situations, which was heartening to see. A hundred with 2 fifties to go with his inspirational leadership, Rohit Sharma walks in the side as captain.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs317
Average105.67
Strike rate93.51
  1. Shikhar Dhawan – Was easily the batsman of the tournament. There is something about Shikhar Dhawan that brings the best out of him in big-ticket tournaments. After a terrible series in England, Dhawan blazed away with the bat in The Asia Cup. Change of format might have helped his cause but nevertheless, he was the best batsman on display.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs342
Average68.40
Strike rate102.09
  1. Imam-Ul-Haq – Slightly tricky one. There was really nobody at no.3 of the teams who caught our attention. While Rayudu scored some useful runs for India, Imam-Ul-Haq batted really well for a struggling Pakistan batting side. In a team which is highly unpredictable on performance, Imam batted beautifully along with Shoaib Malik to put on fighting totals for Pakistan. For displaying better consistency than the rest, Imam comes in at no.3.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs225
Average56.25
Strike rate73.77
  1. Mushfiqur Rahim (+) – Was Bangladesh’s best batsman without a question. He started the tournament with a bang by scoring 144 against a struggling SL and continued his good form with the bat throughout. Such was the brilliance of his batting that he almost single-handedly took his team to the finals.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs302
Average60.40
Strike rate81.18
  1. Hashmatullah Shahidi – Was Afghanistan’s star with the bat. Even though he got the runs at a very slow pace, he got them at crucial times with his team struggling. You could put him at no.4 to switch with Rahim, but the Bangladesh keeper was simply brilliant at No.4. For a gutsy batting display for The Afghans, Shahidi is at No.5 in the side.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs263
Average65.75
Strike rate72.25
  1. Shoaib Malik – At 36, Malik has been in terrific form with the bat for Pakistan. While everyone was looking at Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam to score big runs, Shoaib Malik was quietly scoring the runs. With the top order not firing for Pakistan, Malik batted wonderfully down the order to put on competitive totals for his side. As he provides a sixth bowling option on turning tracks to go with his good batting form, Malik comes into the side at No.6.

 

No. of Innings5
Runs211
Average70.33
Strike rate80.53
  1. Ravindra Jadeja – The key to the balance of any side is the presence of good all-rounders. While there were a few of them on display, there was none better than Ravindra Jadeja for India. ‘The Rajput’ seems to have found a fresh lease of life.  After a good show in the last test against England, he was roped in The Indian squad in place of injured Hardik Pandya. With slow, turning wickets on offer, Jadeja bowled tight line and length to pick up crucial wickets. Mohammad Nabi was really good for Afghanistan; but what clinched Jadeja over Nabi is the wickets he took at key moments.

 

No. of Matches4
Runs48
Wickets7
Bwl. Average22.29
Bwl. Strike rate30.00
  1. Rashid Khan – Was the best bowler of the tournament. His record in limited overs for Afghanistan has been staggering. After dominating the T2 leagues all over the world, the wily leg-spinner seems all set to weave his magic at the international level. He was sensational yet again and picks himself as the lead spinner in my side.

 

No. of Matches5
Wickets10
Bwl. Average17.20
Bwl. Strike rate27.70
Economy Rate3.73
  1. Kuldeep Yadav – The young Chinaman from India has had a terrific start to his career. He has looked impressive with every day gone by and has continued to trouble the batsmen with his variations. With an offie and a leggie already in the side, The Chinaman adds great variety in the attack. Kuldeep makes the side as the third spinner.

 

No. of Matches5
Wickets10
Bwl. Average23.70
Bwl. Strike rate34.80
Economy Rate4.09
  1. Jasprit Bumrah – On the wickets tailor-made for the spinners, it was important that the fast bowlers provide good support. While the spinners dominated, there were only a few seamers who were able to trouble the batsmen and Jasprit Bumrah was one of them. He has grown in stature with every game and has become a valuable asset for India with the ball. He was instrumental with the ball in the tournament picking up 8 wickets at an impressive economy of 3.67 r.p.o. Bumrah walks in the side as the first seamer.

 

No. of Matches4
Wickets8
Bwl. Average16.00
Bwl. Strike rate26.12
Economy Rate3.67
  1. Mustafizur Rahman – Apart from Mushfiqur Rahim if there was any other stand-out performer for Bangladesh, it was The Fizz. He was the only other seamer than Bumrah who looked really impressive. For his wicket-taking ability with the left-arm angle variety, The Fizz makes my side to complete the eleven of The Asia Cup 2018.

 

No. of Matches5
Wickets10
Bwl. Average17.20
Bwl. Strike rate25.20