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Asia Cup 2018: My combined XI

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Asia Cup 2018: My combined XI Cricket Blog

The cricketing world moves so quickly that it is easy to forget the thrilling Asia Cup Final was just a couple of sleeps ago.

With plenty of action coming up this week in the international calendar, now is a good time to have a put forward my top XI for the tournament.

Having a look at Aakash Chopra’s side, there are a couple of slight changes I would make. Those positions are closely contested, which highlights the strong performances of a number of players in this tournament.

Below is my Asia Cup XI, and as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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1. Rohit Sharma  (India)

With Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu dismissed early in the Asia Cup Final, you would have been forgiven for thinking Rohit Sharma stood in the way of a Bangladesh win, such was his impact in this tournament.
317 runs at 105.66 makes him an obvious choice in this XI. He was in superb form.

2. Shikhar Dhawan (India)

The tournament’s leading run scorer, and was in imperious touch throughout the tournament. 
For Dhawan, being left out of the Test side has a silver lining. He can focus more on his strength, which is white ball cricket, ahead of a huge World Cup campaign for India next year.

3. Hashmatullah Shahidi (Afghanistan)

A player that typified Afghanistan’s competitiveness throughout the tournament. 263 runs at over 65, with three consecutive half centuries against Bangladesh, Pakistan, then Bangladesh again, was a superb return.
I could not leave him out of this side. He was Afghanistan’s batting rock.

4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) (Bangladesh)

Mohammad Shahzad is super unlucky to miss out on this team, down to Mushfiqur Rahim’s excellent performance in the tournament.
Rahim played two absolutely amazing, critical knocks for Bangladesh in Asia Cup 2018. His 144 against Sri Lanka and 99 against Pakistan took Bangladesh out of a huge hole early in both matches, which they went on to win. He scored 302 runs at over 60, with six dismissals.

5. Shoaib Malik (Pakistan)

Stop the press. A Pakistan player has made the side.
Shoaib Malik stood head and shoulders above many of his teammates. Scored 211 runs at 70, and played spinners beautifully throughout the tournament. Malik was second leading run scorer for Pakistan behind Imam-Ul-Haq, but he was their best player.

6. Kedar Jadhav (India)

A few players could take the number six spot in the side, including Mohammad Nabi and Mahmdullah.
But, Kedar Jadhav takes the spot. A street-smart cricketer, Jadhav could be an important cog in India’s World Cup plans. When he was required with the bat, he stepped up, especially in the Final with an injured hamstring. With the ball, he took six wickets in the tournament, including vital strikes in the Final that halted Bangladesh’s rapid progress.
In my opinion, without Jadhav, India would not have won the tournament.

7. Ravindra Jadeja (India)

Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion in the ODI side displeases some, but he had a good tournament.
He was very steady with the ball, going for under 4.50 an over, and him in the side takes India’s fielding to another level. Also scored very important runs in the Final

8. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

One of the easier selections in this team. The new number one ODI all-rounder, Rashid was simply superb with the ball, taking 10 wickets at 17 with an ecomony below four. Also scored a rapid half century in the final group game against Bangladesh.
A fine tournament from a fine player.

9. Kuldeep Yadav (India)

This position was also one of the most difficult to choose. Should it be Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Mujeeb Ur Rahman? Mashrafe Mortaza?
In the end, I have gone with Kuldeep Yadav, due to his excellent consistency across matches, including the Final. Mujeeb is super unlucky to miss out here, but Kuldeep’s contribution to India’s cause was just so vital.

10. Jasprit Bumrah (India)

The world’s best ODI bowler, and he showed why in Asia Cup 2018.
His bowling both at the top and death was simply outstanding, with his performances made even more impressive considering he was playing Test Cricket in England just before the tournament.
He finished with eight wickets at 16, with an ecomomy rate of 3.67.

11. Mustafizur Rahman  (Bangladesh)

Like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman helped Bangladesh go a long way in the tournament. He delivered victory for Bangladesh in the critical Super Four games against Afghanistan and Pakistan, and nearly helped the Tigers home in the Final.
He finished with 10 wickets at 18.50, with an ecomony rate of 4.40. Like Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur can prosper in white ball cricket for years to come.
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So, there is my XI. There were a few players who were super difficult to leave out, namely Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shahzad and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
In the end, I believe this side offers the best balance in the conditions. Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman are good enough to deliver quality overs both at the top and death, with a quality spin attack bowling away in the middle overs. The batting also is solid, with Rashid Khan at eight.
Thanks for reading! Your thoughts?
P.S., I’m absolutely thrilled to partner with onlinecricstore.com, the most comprehensive Online Cricket Store you’ll see! Through me, you can enjoy discounts on 700+ products through a single code!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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