Asia Cup 2018 Report Card: Rohit Sharma gets 8.5, Shikhar Dhawan scores 9, what about MS Dhoni?
India edged Bangladesh in the final to lift the Asia Cup 2018. Let's take a look at how the Indian players fared at the tournament on a scale of 1 to 10
Asia Cup 2018 saw a fitting finale as India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets in a last-ball thriller. Indian team held their nerves under pressure and Bangladesh missed a golden opportunity to win their maiden Asia Cup title. Indian team after the disappointment of losing the Test series against England 4-1 have bounced back in style and proved that they are a fantastic outfit in coloured clothing. As we are approaching World Cup 2019, Let's look at how the men in blue fared in the Asia Cup 2018 and rate their performances on a scale of 1 to 10
1. Rohit Sharma: Marks: 8.5/10
India's stand-in ODI captain Rohit Sharma once again proved that he is one of the best white ball players going around. Rohit Sharma proved his panache in the finals and scored a crucial 48 runs, which proved vital in India's win. The Mumbai Indians three-time IPL winning captain marshalled his resources quite well and it didn't affect his batting that much.
Rohit Sharma struck a bludgeoning century against Pakistan and in Virat Kohli's absence, the Mumbai player calmed the nerves of the team. Going forward, Rohit Sharma will be India's go-to man leading up to the World Cup 2019. In five matches at the Asia Cup 2018 Rohit Sharma scored 317 runs at an average of 105.67.
2. Shikhar Dhawan: Marks: 9/10
What's with Shikhar Dhawan and multi-nation tournaments? The Delhi dasher, who cut a sorry figure during the England Test series, once again found form at the Asia Cup. Shikhar Dhawan struck two centuries and the way he played has been nothing short of extraordinary. The self-proclaimed 'Gabbar' batted with swagger and confidence and took the game away from the opposition early on at the top. In five matches, Shikhar Dhawan struck 342 runs. Dhawan gets a lot of stick for failing in red ball cricket (rightly so), but when it comes to white ball cricket, he is one of the very best going around and deservedly won the player of the series award.
3. Ambati Rayudu: Marks: 6/10
As Virat Kohli was unavailable, his big shoes were not easy to fill and to replace India's batting talisman was no easy task. Ambati Rayudu has been playing cricket for the past 15 years at various levels and during this Asia Cup, he batted somewhat reasonably in the limited chances he was given. Ambati Rayudu would be the first one to admit that he didn't grab his chances with both hands and could have applied himself better. The dashing batter has made vital contributions throughout the tournament and could be in the squad as a spare batsman even when Virat Kohli returns. Ambati Rayudu scored 175 runs at the Asia Cup 2018.
4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Marks: 6/10
India's most illustrious and successful captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's career is at crossroads. The Jharkhand dasher had a mediocre tournament by his lofty standards and looked rusty with the bat. MS Dhoni is 37-years-old and his batting is losing the regal touch in the recent past. The wicket-keeper-batsman once again couldn't finish the job for India in the finals but scored a mature 36 off 57 balls before losing his wicket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni always has been a total team man and been a great help to Rohit Sharma in adjusting the field or talking to bowlers and encouraging them. Mahi is a proven performer and this young Indian team definitely needs a mentor to steady the ship.
5. Kedar Jadhav: Marks: 6/10
India's own slinga Malinga i.e. Kedar Jadhav is proving to be the utility cricketer that every team needs. Kedar Jadhav's part-time spin once again proved invaluable. Kedar Jadhav picked up two crucial wickets in the finals and then batted with literally one leg in the end (hamstring injury) to take India over the line.
6. Dinesh Karthik: Marks: 5/10
Tamil Nadu player Dinesh Karthik made his ODI debut before Mahendra Singh Dhoni and is still being talked as a prospect. Dinesh Karthik is an intelligent, articulate player but the bottom line is he doesn't get enough runs on the board consistently. From the outside, it looks like something is bothering this hard-working cricketer and you don't know the reasons. Dinesh Karthik performed decently through the tournament but failed to play a defining, match-winning knock, with pretty cameos count for not much down the line. DK as he is commonly known played well in the finals by scoring 37 off 61 balls but again failed to cross the finishing line.
7. Ravindra Jadeja: Marks: 8/10
India's all-weather all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a grand comeback into the ODI team due to injuries and answered his critics in style through his performances during the tournament. Ravindra Jadeja bats well, bowls accurately, fields excellently and is a complete package. Jaddu picked up four wickets on his return and has made a strong case for himself to be in the scheme of things. In four matches Jadeja grabbed seven wickets.
8. Kuldeep Yadav: Marks: 8/10
India's chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav is becoming an integral member of this ODI side. Kuldeep Yadav has bowled so well with Yuzvendra Chahal and alongside Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli has been the backbone of this ODI unit. The Kolkata Knight Riders' player picked up three wickets against Bangladesh for 45 runs in the finals. Kuldeep bowls according to the situation and is not afraid to toss the ball up and is always looking for wickets.
9. Yuzvendra Chahal: Marks: 6/10
Kuldeep Yadav's partner in crime Yuzvendra Chahal might not have so many variations but is a very smart cricketer (teen chess champion) and knows his limitations quite well. The Haryana leggie knows how to tie batsman and in this Asia Cup played his role to perfection and bowled at every stage of the innings. Chahal played in five out of six matches but went wicketless two times and picked up only six wickets.
10. Jasprit Bumrah: Marks: 9/10
India's emerging star and No 1 ODI bowler in the world, Jasprit Bumrah is going through a purple patch and is becoming India's go to bowler across formats. For a young guy, he has shown so much maturity and his ability to bowl yorkers under pressure is extra-ordinary.
In four matches, Bumrah picked up eight wickets to his name at a very respectable economy rate. Jasprit Bumrah is a quick learner and hasn't taken much time adjusting from hard and seaming conditions of England to flat tracks of Dubai. Bumrah will be an asset at next year's world cup and after a long time, India has got a genuine pacer, who can win matches on his own.
11. Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Marks: 5/10
India's pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar is returning from a long injury lay off and by all accounts looked short of match practice. Despite that Bhuvi tried his best and showed his batting temperament by scoring a crucial 21 runs against Bangladesh in the finals.
12. KL Rahul: Marks: 7/10
It would be unfair to rate KL Rahul on just one performance. Rahul proved his class once again and after a long and draining England tour, the Karnataka batsman looked decent against Afghanistan in a dead rubber.
13. Manish Pandey: Marks: 2/10
Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey was part of the same under-19 Indian side that had Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in Malaysia in 2008. Manish Pandey has talent but now the time has really come to convert that talent into performances day in and day out in Indian jersey. Pandey doesn't give you the confidence of an international player and time is running out for this gifted cricketer.
14. Khaleel Ahmed: Marks: 6.5/10
The most inexperienced member of the squad, Rajasthan left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed didn't play regularly but there is something about this young pacer. Ahmed performed quite well and if given proper conditioning and coaching could be a left arm pacer that India has been searching for since Zaheer Khan's retirement.
15. Hardik Pandya: Marks: N/A
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya got injured half-way through India's first match against Pakistan and the injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise for this Baroda player ahead of a pretty busy home season and Australian tour.
16: Deepak Chahar: Marks: 3/10
Rajasthan pacer Deepak Chahar played and made his debut against Afghanistan in an inconsequential match and honestly looked out of his depth. Chahar was a star for 2018 IPL champions Chennai Super Kings but was pretty average and mediocre while playing for India. There is no shame in having a bad day but Chahar has to make the transition quickly from domestic to international cricket if he wants to be a serious prospect playing for men in blue.
17. Siddarth Kaul: Marks: 3/10
Siddarth Kaul also played one game due to the resting of senior players and bowled nine overs against Afghanistan for 58 runs without picking up a wicket.
18. Shardul Thakur: Marks: 2/10
The Mumbai seamer played against Hong Kong after warming the benches during the five-match Test series against England then got injured to miss the rest of Asia Cup. Shardul Thakur bowled four overs against Hong Kong and gave away 41 runs. Thakur in that match looked below par and could not maintain the intensity required at the international level.
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