Strongest Asian ODI XI featuring 11 captains
Cricket was born in England but the game has flourished the most in the continent of Asia, especially South Asia. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka contribute the major chunk of the total cricket viewing population across the world.
The story of Afghanistan's rise in international cricket is of great inspiration to the cricketing world as they proved that it is possible to compete against the big teams in cricket in a short duration of time.
The Asian teams have also proven their mettle in the ICC World Cup as three of the five World Cup winning nations are from Asia - India (1983, 2011), Pakistan (1992), and Sri Lanka (1996).
The good performance of the Asia teams on the world stage is an outcome of contributions made by great cricketers, especially the men leading these teams from the front. With the 2019 World Cup set to start in less than a year's time, let us take a look at the Asian ODI XI of all time featuring 11 captains.
*Only players who captained more than 50 ODIs were considered for the list*
*All the stats are updated till 22nd September, 2018*
#1 Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)
Sanath Jayasuriya is definitely the most attacking batsman Sri Lanka has ever produced. The attacking style of batting which was first put on show by him in the mid-1990s has transformed the game of cricket completely. He came into the 1996 World Cup with a batting average of 19.53 from 98 ODIs and has evolved into a better player since then.
In the World Cup which changed Sri Lankan cricket for the better, Jayasuriya score 221 runs at an average of 36.83 but his strike rate of 131.54 made it a commendable effort. In addition to his batting, he took 7 wickets with the ball and was involved in 5 catches during the tournament. As a result of his efforts, he was adjudged the player of the tournament as he helped his side to lift the prestigious trophy.
As a captain, Jayasuriya scored 4377 runs with a batting average of 38.73 in 118 matches. His average as captain was better than his career average of 32.36. With the ball, he scalped 92 wickets in 106 innings as a captain. Sanath Jayasuriya was a complete player who could demoralise any bowling attack with the ball and he was a timely wicket-taker with the ball too.
#2 Sourav Ganguly (India)
Sourav Ganguly's contribution to Indian cricket is of immense value. He led the Indian team to the final of the 2003 ICC World Cup. Even after his retirement, India enjoyed the fruits of his work in the form of the 2011 World Cup. Ganguly fondly called as Dada identified many talents - Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni - who were key to India's success in the tournament in 2011.
During his tenure as the captain, Dada scored as many as 5082 runs in 146 matches. Of the 22 centuries that he scored during his career, 11 were as a captain. In addition to his exploits with the bat, he was very handy with the ball too. He accounted for 46 scalps in the 79 games where he bowled as a captain. Ganguly did not get the right reception at the fag end of his career but his services to the nation are well remembered the by the cricket fans of India.