Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Best XI From Asia

Among the plethora of ODI cricket tournaments that are scheduled, the Asia Cup is usually one of the more anonymous ones. The bi-annual Champions Trophy and Australian tri-series tournaments are often the most interesting while others take a quick fade into oblivion.

But this particular Asia Cup should be remembered, and that too fondly and for one reason alone, Bangladesh.

After enduring the usual politics, selection disputes and a hangover from the disgraceful World Cup last year, there was every reason why they should have ended up rock bottom in this tournament. They had a Pakistan team who are looking to turn the corner, a Sri Lankan team who impressed in Australia and a cocky Indian team who have returned to friendly flat decks hungry for redemption.

And yet, Bangladesh fell two runs short of trumping them all. An outstanding achievement.

If only Kamran Akmal played... © AFP

But their heroics aside it was yet another engaging and impressive ODI tournament, with all four teams having golden moments and playing hard, there was no 'easy-beat'. If one was to compile the eleven best cricketers out of Asia, who would be chosen?

The Cricket Musings Asia XI
1) Tamim Iqbal
2) Mohammad Hafeez
3) Mahela Jayawardene (c)
4) Kumar Sangakkara (w)
5) Virat Kohli
6) Shakib Al-Hasan
7) Shahid Afridi
8) Umar Gul
9) Saeed Ajmal
10) Mashrafe Mortaza
11) Lasith Malinga

These are the best eleven limited overs cricketers in Asia.

Points to ponder:
- Tamim Iqbal was originally dropped from the squad by some moronic selectors.
- Virat Kohli is the only Indian worthy of this line-up.
- The highly ranked Dhoni was replaced by the superior batting of Sanga and the superior captaincy of Mahela.
- With Malinga and Mortaza to open, you have Gul first change and a spin quartet of Afridi, Hafeez, Shakib and Ajmal. Good luck facing that attack.

There used to be an Afro-Asia cup going where a squad like this would face South Africa + a token Zimbabwean + a token Kenyan. Here is my proposition, lets put this squad against the rest of the world in a one-off annual exhibition match.

Now wouldn't that be something.


  1. Bangladesh have certainly impressed a few people. One person told me they think they're better than the West Indies now. I dispute that, although not on any statistical grounds, just because the Windies have been giving us Aussies a run for our money and if they are a lesser team than the Tigers my pride might get sore. You know what I mean?

  2. The West Indies were awful during the early to mid 2000's, however it looks like they are coming right. At this stage I would say the Windies have the edge over Bangladesh, the Tigers do a lot of winning at home but haven't really proven themselves overseas.