Who have been the star performers in the Asia Cup 2018 so far?
The final of Asia Cup is upon us, with India playing Bangladesh for the title on Friday. But who have been responsible for making the tournament exciting, and who else has shone in the tournament?
Here’s a look at our team of the tournament, with some familiar names, as well as the odd new ones
The southpaw redeemed himself after a disappointing tour of England. Dhawan has proven the doubters wrong with dominant displays, accumulating 327 runs. Two swashbuckling hundreds and leading the run-getter chart of the tournament make him first pick in this list.
Rohit Sharma (captain)
Cast adrift from the national Test side, Rohit Sharma was given the charge to lead India in the tournament. India opener did not let captaincy affect his batting but thrived in extra responsibility, recording a hundred and two 50+ scores in four knocks.
Hashmatullah Shahidi carried Afghanistan’s batting all by himself, scoring runs without any fuss when others around him were failed. With three fifties in five games, he has certainly re-energised Afghanistan’s top order and is one to look out for.
Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper)
Mushfiqur Rahim oozed class during 144 against Sri Lanka (September 15) and produced another match-winning knock (99) in the last Super Four “do-or-die” fixture against Pakistan (September 26) to take Bangladesh to the final.
Malik bailed out Pakistan batting on several occasions this tournament, with his composed finishing against Afghanistan (September 21) the most stellar show. The likes of Wasim Akram were so impressed with Malik after that, and called it a Dhoni-like finish.
Mohammad Shahzad smoked a record-breaking century to lead Afghanistan to 252 for 8 to burst life into dead-rubber ODI against India (September 25). When he completed his ton, Afghanistan’s score read 131 for 4, the joint-lowest team total for when a batsman had got to his hundred in ODIs since 2001.
Jadeja celebrated his ODI comeback with a brilliant 4/29 against Bangladesh (September 21). The left-arm spinner bagged more wickets in the following games to justify his selection. Apart from the bowling exploits, Jadeja scored useful runs lower down the order.
Afghanistan emerged as one of the most exciting sides in the tournament, courtesy Rashid Khan. He bamboozled all the batting line-ups, to pick more wickets than any bowler in the tournament.
Despite playing on difficult wickets for pace bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman caused problems for batsmen throughout. Apart from consistent bowling efforts, Rahman defended 7 runs against Afghanistan (September 23) in an incredible show of death bowling.
The top-ranked ODI bowler, Bumrah struck whenever the team needed. Again, he has surpassed all expectations, with the new ball as well at the death.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Another Afghanistan spinner impressed during Asia Cup 2018. Consistent with her threatening lines and tricky variations, Mujeeb troubled all the opposing batsmen. And, mostly in the initial powerplay overs.