Best Asian ODI XI
With Asia Cup just around the corner, Asian teams will be having eyes on the trophy. As India will be looking to defend it, Pakistan will be looking to defeat India again like they did in the Champions Trophy last year in England. Sri Lanka will be trying for an improved performance and Bangladesh will be looking to go the extra mile already having made it to the finals twice in last three years. Last but not the least, Afghanistan will be looking to give some tough fight to the others.
Cricket originated in England, but is not a sport in Asia, it is an emotion. Asian countries have the most die-hard fans of this game. The game which was earlier dominated by England, Australia and West Indies is now being given tough competitions from the Asian teams. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have all won the World Cup at least once. With even newer teams emerging like Nepal and Afghanistan, the game is bound to only grow from here.
With this backdrop in mind let's look at the best current Asian XI possible.
Openers are the most important members of the squad. They provide the start and anchor the innings. For the opening slots, let us see what are the options available.
1) Rohit Sharma: Ever since he started opening for India in 2013, he has become an altogether a different player. As an opener, he has 4781 runs at an average of 54.32. He has scored 16 hundreds as an opener out of which 3 are double hundreds with 264 being the highest score by any player in ODIs. He is currently on number 4 in the batsman rankings in ODIs.
2) Shikhar Dhawan: The other Indian opener has scored 4481 runs at an average of 45.72 and has scored 3 centuries. He is an attacking opener and has a strike rate of close to 94.
3) Fakhar Zaman: The new batting sensation of Pakistan who has finally provided all the answers to the opening slot of the team and resolved all woes. In the last series against Zimbabwe, he scored a double century. He became the fastest player to score 1000 runs in ODIs. He is currently averaging over 76 in ODIs.
4) Tamim Iqbal: Mr. Dependable, he is one of the best batsmen Bangladesh has ever produced. He has scored over 6000 runs at an average of around 36. But in the past few years, he has become more consistent and has scored at an average of over 50. The only drawback is his strike rate that is less than 80 in an attacking world of T20.
Considering these stats I will keep Rohit Sharma and Fakhar Zaman as my openers.