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Asia Cup: Team of the Tournament

Sep 15, 2022

The Asia Cup 2022 has it all: six last-over finishes, a century, a five-for, and plenty of thrills and spills. In the end, a tournament that battles for relevance was the ideal lead-up to the T20 World Cup that will come after, and several star players were responsible for that. 

The best of them figure here in MCW Sports.

Kusal Mendis

Numbers: 155 runs at a strike rate of 156.56

He had back-to-back ducks to conclude the competition, but he was crucial to Sri Lanka’s remarkable run to the championship game. His scorching stroke play and firebrand attitude helped lower targets of 184, 176, and 174 against Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and India, respectively. He set the tone at the top of the order. His smooth transition from middle-order batter to opener is encouraging for Sri Lanka, as they get ready for the T20 World Cup.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz 

Numbers: 152 runs at a strike rate of 163.44; 3 catches

On the first night, Gurbaz gave fans a glimpse of his power hitting as he smashed an 18-ball 40 in a brief chase against Sri Lanka. A week or so later, also against Sri Lanka, he was back at it, laying the foundation at the top with a solid 45-ball 84 to build up a high total when batting first. Although he finished with a duck against India, it was nonetheless encouraging from a powerful batter up top.

Virat Kohli

Numbers: 276 runs at a strike rate of 147.59

Finally, he scored his first T20I century after two half-centuries. Along the process, his 1020-day-long century drought across formats ended. Although he had a shaky start, his fluency improved with each subsequent inning. He finished the competition in second place on the run chart behind Mohammad Rizwan and resembled his former dominant self once more.

Ibrahim Zadran

Numbers: 196 runs at a strike rate of 104.25

It was thanks to performances like those that Ibrahim is that Afghanistan showed they are more than simply their spinners and six-hitters. He was forced to adapt to a middle-order position despite usually being an opener and served as the ice to the fire of the stroke-makers around him. His undefeated 42 against Bangladesh was a significant display of maturity in holding off a meager pursuit, and his 40 and 64* against Sri Lanka and India, respectively, provided additional evidence of his development.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Numbers: 191 runs at a strike rate of 149.21

He abruptly retired from international cricket just nine months prior, only to be persuaded to come back. He became an important player for Sri Lanka after an IPL stint and a string of respectable scores during the entire year. He put on a strong showing in the Asia Cup final, where Sri Lanka had their backs against the wall. His rescue effort and Wanindu Hasaranga helped them go from 58 for 5 to 170 for 6, which was subsequently successfully defended by a young line-up.

Dasun Shanaka – Captain

Numbers: 111 runs at a strike rate of 138.75; 2 wickets at an economy rate of 12

He inspired a young team to overcome a challenging period, and now is reaping the benefits. He was crucial in achieving two important victories. The first came in a 184-run chase against Bangladesh with a 33-ball 45. Then, when facing India, he improved even further. First, he dismissed Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, depriving India of the outcome they desired. Then, in the last over, he scored a composed, unbeaten 33 off 18 balls to send them home.

Mohammad Nawaz

Numbers: 8 wickets in six innings at an economy rate of 5:89; 79 runs at a strike rate of 143.63

Babar Azam had some flexibility in the field to use his overs of uncomplicated left-arm spin to insert him based on match-ups. Especially in Pakistan’s victory over India, where he was virtually elevated to disrupt India’s two leg spinners, Nawaz proved to be more than a handful with the bat. He retaliated with a 20-ball 42 to write a victory that assisted them in making a push for the championship.

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