Asian XI: The world cup is just around the corner and we have seen most of the teams announcing their preliminary squads for the upcoming Mega event. Although 23rd may be the last date to submit the final list of 15 players by each team, we can certainly ascertain the playing XI for almost every team around. While most of the teams will be giving it their all to grab the coveted trophy, the onus will be on most of the Asian teams like Indian and Pakistan, given to the playing conditions in England this time.
Along with their teams, there will be a number of players who will be going “all guns blaze” to outclass their counterparts within those Asian teams. So even if you are an Asian or a Non-Asian cricket fan, let us take you through to a combined Asian XI for the upcoming world cup based on their current form and career records.
World Cup 2019: Combined Asian XI Cricketer of the tournament-
1. Rohit Sharma (India)
We are giving priority to Rohit here simply on the basis of huge experience and great career record he holds as an opening batsman. Although there are other contenders like Imam ul Haq and Tami Iqbal as well, Rohit is a no brainer for this spot for his elegant batting and ability to make it big with a bat on any given day.
He is that one player who can give a blistering start to the team’s campaign up to the order and accommodate his styles as per the situation in the match. And yes, we have not yet talked about the record he holds for the highest score in an ODI against Sri Lanka ( 264) along with 2 other double century knocks.
2. Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)
Everyone remembers Fakhar Zaman as the batsman who single-handedly outplayed the Indian bowling in the champion’s trophy in 2017 but this prolific batsman has come a long way since then in his playing career. You may want to consider Shikhar Dhawan here but Fakhar’s ability to act as a part-time bowler certainly makes him a better candidate for the same spot.
On the other side, Dhawan hasn’t been that good in the English conditions on his last tour with the Indian team and Fakhar is simply going great guns with the practice matches recently top picking him above Shikhar can be straight away justified.
3. Virat Kohli (India)
If there’s one cricketer who can simply make it to any playing XI around the world with his magnificent batting skills, it has to be the Captain Charisma Virat Kohli. Not only he has been the most impressive batsman across every format in the past 10 years, he has simply thrashed every record on his way forward.
What else can you say about a batsman who averages more than 50 in almost every format of the game and doing that consistently over the past few years? Standing at 41 centuries in the ODIs, he is the current favorite to break the record for the most number of centuries by another Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
4. Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Babar Azam has become synonymous to consistent performance in the international cricket and his average of more than 50 in both ODI and T20 makes him the perfect player to accompany the likes of Kohli in the limited over’s format. Scoring 2462 runs in the 57 innings he has played, he has shown great promise with his batting capability and consistency in the process.
In the past few years, he is that one player who has continually been the top performer for the men in greens and that is the reason we are picking him at the number 4 spot in our combined Asian XI.
5. MS Dhoni (India)
You simply can’t question the legacy and capability of the most successful captain in the history of Asian cricket. Even while Dhoni might be going through the dusk in his career, he still carries all the firepower in his bat to make his team win single-handedly on any given day. Even though you might be considering Mushfiquer Rahim or Sarfaraz khan here, but Dhoni’s ability to handle the pressure and escalate the innings at will certainly make him an outright choice.
He can play the role of a sheet anchor within the start and come up as a finisher at the death without any big fuss and that is something which is so special about this cool and calm player.
6. Mohammed Nabi (Afghanistan)
You might question the ability of Mohammed Nabi at the world cup but he has been absolutely amazing in the past few years for his team in the International circuit. Not only he is playing in almost every T20 league across the globe, but his unquestioned ability to deliver with both bat and ball also gives him an edge over players like Imad Wasim and Angelo Matthews here.
7. Hardik Pandya (India)
Hardik Pandya has simply been phenomenal with his all-around skills in the International cricket and capability to deliver some big hits at the death on any given day makes him the right choice over the likes of Thisara Perera and Faheem Ashraf.
Another advantage that he holds is his current form in IPL with both bat and ball which makes him a perfect contender for the No 7 spot in the combined Asian XI in our list. Moreover, his ability to bowling at more than 140kph consistently brings him as the best alternative for a first change bowler in the English conditions this time around.
8. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Rashid Khan is currently the best bowler in the T20 format but he has also been equally impressive in the limited over’s cricket in the recent times. Although he is getting big competition from another spinner like Yuzvewndar Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Akila Dhananjay, his current form and ability to deceive even the best batsman with his googlies make him a no brainer at Number 8 spot in our list.
9. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
There’s nothing to doubt about the bowling ability of this current best in the ODI format and Burmah has proved exactly that in recent times for the Indian team. Even though he will be playing into his first world cup this time around, he has made a place of his won in the International cricket with those deadly Yorkers and deceiving slower balls. If that was not enough, he got almost every ball in his armory to make even the best batsman fall into his trap. He is surely the one to be watched out in the world cup 2019.
10. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Although it’s a big shame that Malinga is the only player from the current Srilankan squad to make it into the Asian XI, his past record and bowling abilities certainly make him a limited over’s legend. Talk about those lethal Yorkers and off cutters and he can even defend the lowest total with them on any given day. Srilankan team got all the reason to be hopeful out of him as he is carrying some promising form in the IPL 2019 Tournament and all set to make it big for his team this time around.
11. Hasan Ali (Pakistan)
There were times when Pakistani bowlers used to dominate the bowling department in the Asian XI but after the departure of legends like Waqar, Wasim, and Shoaib Akhtar, the team is finding it hard to get the perfect replacement. Still, Hasan Ali has shown great signs of being the best in the business for the Pakistani team in recent times and he surely gives us some hope for a better future for Pakistani bowling strength. The Young Turk has scalped 77 wickets till now and was a standout in the Champions trophy triumph for his team in England in 2017 with 21 wickets.