The Asia Cup 2023 will be remembered for two things among cricket fans, one persistent rain interruption due to wet weather conditions, and when the action was possible a few great performances came up in the tournament.
Here’s our best XI of the tournament based on stats, impact and match-winning contributions.
1. Rohit Sharma (India) (c):
Indian captain Rohit Sharma had a fantastic Asia Cup 2023 with the bat. Apart from his first and last innings of the tournament, Rohit was in good touch and scored three back-to-back fifties in the tournament. Rohit also completed a few milestones in his career in this Asia Cup. He became the 6th Indian batter to score more than 10,000 ODI runs and the 8th Indian to score 50 fifties in ODI Cricket. Rohit scored 194 runs in 5 innings in the tournament to lead India to record 7th ODI Asia Cup title.
2. Shubman Gill (India):
Indian openers were on a roll in the Asia Cup 2023, Shubman Gill finished the tournament as the highest run-scorer. Gill scored 302 runs with 2 half-centuries and a century against Bangladesh. His knock against Bangladesh will be remembered for a long time to come as he was fighting alone in a 266 chase in the Super 4 round. Gill will be accompanying his Indian opening partner Rohit Sharma in this playing XI.
3. Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka):
The Sri Lankan number three has been their biggest match-winner in the tournament. Kusal Mendis with his three half-centuries including two 90-plus scores helped Sri Lanka qualify for the final of the Asia Cup 2023. His 91-run knock against Pakistan came in difficult circumstances. Mendis also ended up as the top-scorer for Sri Lanka. He scored 270 runs in six innings and finished 2nd in the leading run-scorers list.
4. Sadeera Samarawickrama (Sri Lanka):
Sri Lanka have found a rising star in Sadeera Samarawickrama. He has been a brilliant value addition to the Sri Lankan playing XI since he made his comeback. Sadeera Samarawickrama scored 215 runs in 6 innings in this Asia Cup 2023 and ended up as the 3rd highest run-scorer in the tournament. Samarwickrama provided Sri Lanka with a stable option as the number four batter and stitched a few good partnerships to help his side win games.
5. Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan) (wk):
Pakistan wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan’s average reads 97.50 in four innings he batted in the Asia Cup 2023. A crisis man for Pakistan, Rizwan bailed out Pakistan twice in the tournament, once against Nepal when they lost early wickets and then against Sri Lanka when they lost five wickets in 130 runs. Rizwan’s 86-run knock helped Pakistan give Sri Lanka a tough total to chase. Rizwan scored 195 runs in four innings in the tournament.
6. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh):
Bangladesh captain and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s 80-run knock against Asia Cup champions India helped his team win their final game. He also played a fighting knock against Pakistan where he scored 53 runs. In bowling, he kept his line tight and picked up 3 wickets in the tournament. His all-round efforts were crucial in Bangladesh’s victory against India.
7. Hardik Pandya (India):
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has become the backbone of the Indian cricket team as he starts taking full responsibility as an extra pacer along with his lower-order batting. Pandya had a great Asia Cup tournament as he played a magnificent knock of 87 runs against Pakistan in crisis situations. He also contributed with the ball and picked up six wickets in the tournament at a strike rate of 20.33 in five innings. Pandya picked up 3-3 in the final as well.
8. Dunith Wellalage (Sri Lanka):
Dunith Wellalage became Sri Lanka’s rising star for his magical performance in the tournament. India vs Sri Lanka in the Super Four round was all about this man. Wellalage rattled some of the best players of spin, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli in three consecutive overs and went on to take five wickets. While chasing India’s modest total he played a valiant 42-run knock as well. Sri Lanka have found a star for the future in Wellalage.
9. Kuldeep Yadav (India):
Kuldeep Yadav is probably the most improved bowler in the world right now. Once he was counted out in every format and now he is taking up the responsibility in team India as the only front-line spinner. Kuldeep was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his impactful performance against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super Four round. He picked up five against Pakistan and four against Sri Lanka and took a total of nine wickets in the tournament.
10. Matheesha Pathirana (Sri Lanka):
Matheesha Pathirana with 11 wickets in six games and ended up as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. Pathirana’s form will come in handy for Sri Lanka in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. Pathirana bowled two brilliant spells against Bangladesh and Pakistan in the tournament.
11. Mohammed Siraj (India)
A massive performance in the final of the tournament which eventually won India the whole thing gets Siraj the nod ahead of Bangladeshi pacer Taskin Ahmed and Pakistan’s Haris Rauf. Siraj’s record-breaking bowling in the final against Sri Lanka, where he was adjudged the player of the match by taking 6-21 took him up to 2nd in the top wicket-takers list in the Asia Cup 2023.