Looking back at all the Indians who have won Player of the Match in Men's Asia Cup finals ft. Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan won the Player of the Match award at the Asia Cup 2016 final [Getty Images]
Shikhar Dhawan won the Player of the Match award at the Asia Cup 2016 final [Getty Images]

The much-awaited Asia Cup 2023 final between India and Sri Lanka is set to take place at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 17.

Both India and Sri Lanka have been the two most impressive teams in the ongoing tournament. While India were the first nation to qualify for the summit clash, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in a virtual semi-final on Thursday to book their slot in Sunday's final.

The upcoming fixture will be of high importance for both teams as winning the Asia Cup will give them a huge confidence boost ahead of the marquee ICC ODI World Cup next month.

Notably, India and Sri Lanka are two of the most successful teams in the history of the tournament, winning the Asia Cup seven and six times, respectively.

Interestingly, the inaugural edition of the Asia Cup in 1984 took place in a round-robin format. Hence, the winner was decided with the most wins, and no final took place. India won both of their games in that edition to be named the inaugural winner of the continental tournament.

Ahead of India's 10th Asia Cup final, let's take a look at all the Indians who have won Player of the Match in Asia Cup finals.


#5 Navjot Singh Sidhu - 76 runs vs SL in Dhaka, 1988

Navjot Singh Sidhu won India the 1988 Asia Cup [Getty Images]
Navjot Singh Sidhu won India the 1988 Asia Cup [Getty Images]

Former Indian opener Navjot Singh Sidhu enjoyed great success in the Asia Cups. Across 12 innings, he amassed 530 runs at an average of 66.25.

He also became the first-ever Indian to be named the Player of the Match in an Asia Cup final when his 76-run knock helped India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in 1988.

Sidhu was also adjudged as the Player of the Tournament in that edition, scoring 179 runs at an average of just about 60.


#4 Mohammad Azharuddin - 54* vs SL runs in Kolkata, 1990-91

Mohammed Azharuddin playing square cut in an ODI in England [Getty Images]
Mohammed Azharuddin playing square cut in an ODI in England [Getty Images]

Mohammad Azharuddin captained India to two Asia Cup titles. His first Asia Cup victory came during the 1990-91 edition, which was hosted by India.

In the final against Sri Lanka, Azharuddin came up with a resounding knock of 54* runs from 39 balls. He helped India chase down 205 runs in the second innings at the Eden Gardens.

The Men in Blue won that particular encounter with seven wickets and 17 balls in hand.


#3 Mohammad Azharuddin - 90* runs vs SL in Sharjah, 1995

Mohammad Azharuddin repeated his heroics in the 1995 edition, becoming the first Indian to win the Player of the Match award in an Asia Cup final twice.

After Sri Lanka posted 230 runs on the board in the first innings, the Men in Blue made a mockery of the total. Sachin Tendulkar launched a scathing attack with a run-a-ball 41 before Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin took control.

They stitched together a 175-run partnership for the third wicket and took India over the finish line with ease. While Sidhu scored 84* off 106 balls, Azharuddin made 90* off only 89 balls. Azharuddin's knock included five boundaries and a couple of sixes as well.


#2 Dinesh Karthik - 66 runs vs SL in Dambulla, 2010

Dinesh Karthik raising his bat after a fifty vs Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2010 final [Getty Images]
Dinesh Karthik raising his bat after a fifty vs Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2010 final [Getty Images]

After a gap of 15 years, India finally got their hands on the Asia Cup title in 2010. It was once again Sri Lanka on the receiving end of the defeat as they lost the game by 81 runs.

The Asia Cup 2010 final, played in Dambulla, saw the Men in Blue bat first. The Asian giants piled up 268 runs across their 50 overs. The only half-century for India was scored by none other than Dinesh Karthik.

Karthik kept his wicket intact at one end. He opened the inning and kept his wicket intact, scoring 66 runs off 84 balls, including nine boundaries.

India defended the score in the second innings, with Ashish Nehra taking a well-worked four-wicket haul.


#1 Shikhar Dhawan - 60 runs vs BAN in Dhaka, 2016 (T20 format)

Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli helped India win the 2016 Asia Cup [Getty Images]
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli helped India win the 2016 Asia Cup [Getty Images]

Despite currently being out of favor with the Indian team, Shikhar Dhawan is well known for his brilliance in multi-nation tournaments. A man for big stages, Dhawan has often been India's talisman in crunch games.

During India's (T20) Asia Cup final against Bangladesh in 2016, Dhawan played a mature knock and helped the Men in Blue lift their sixth Asia Cup title.

After putting Bangladesh to bat first, India restricted them to a below-par total of 120/5. In response, Bangladesh jolted India early by sending back Rohit Sharma in the second over.

However, Dhawan then worked in tandem with Virat Kohli (41*), and the duo took India closer to the target. Hitting nine fours and a six during his stay of 60 runs, Dhawan made the Bangladeshi bowlers pay and won the game for his nation.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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