The Asia Cup 2018 was indeed an exciting affair that saw many heroes and old heroes turn villains. Right from Sri Lanka crashing out very early all the way to tieing with Afghanistan, the tourney has had great moments. India was undoubtedly the strongest side and was a juggernaut rolling over opponents, barring perhaps once against Afghanistan. Here are the top 4 reasons that saw India at the top of its opposition this Asia Cup 2018 .
I Top Order Magic
Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have made 2112 runs in ODI in 2018. Three times more than the rest of the side put together. Asia Cup was no different as Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan have compiled a massive 659 runs with 3 hundreds and 2 fifties. Scoring at a high strike rate as well, the openers have ensured that not only did the side get good games but also completed majority of the target. While the regular openers were rested mid series against Afghanistan, back up opener KL Rahul and stand-in opener Ambati Rayudu also made similar contributions that set the gold standards for India.
II A Bowling Masterclass
UAE and Dubai are largely alien conditions to Indian bowlers, particularly this one which had no big experience to speak of. Put up against teams such as Pakistan and Afghanistan which enjoy Dubai and UAE as their home turf, the Indian bowling unit showed exceptional character in keeping India in the game at all times. Kuldeep Yadav leads the wickets charts with 10 wickets from 6 games at an average of 24. Jasprit Bumrah (8 wickets), Ravindra Jadeja (7 wickets), Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal (6 wickets each) have all contributed to the cause.
III Top of The Line Fielding
In the post match presentation, Head Coach Ravi Shastri was extremely vocal in appreciating the Indian contingent for their fielding and rated it the best takeaway from the tournament and rightly so! Five out of six times India had to field first which meant that fielders were subject to the extreme desert conditions and heat. India however held fort and put up a splendid fielding display, not giving away easy singles and making the opponents work hard for the runs. Half chances were taken aggressively and the fielders found the stumps often to affect direct hit run outs. And needless to say, India wielded the finest of glovesmen behind the stumps to make things extremely difficult for the batsmen against the inviting tossed up deliveries by Indian spinners.
IV A Strong Bench
It’s easy for a team to succeed when all the plans come together and the clockwork ticks as it should. But for a team to succeed under contingency is what determines the true worth of a team. India has a strong bench that has good talented cricketers. An injury to star all-rounder Hardik Pandya meant doom to the balance of the side and options. But it wasn’t to be as Ravindra Jadeja eased into the role comfortably picking up 7 wickets and scoring handy runs down the order. In the batting department, KL Rahul grabbed the sole opportunity he received by scoring a fluid 60 against Afghanistan. The likes of Manish Pandey and Siddarth Kaul in reserve gives a certain flexibility and cushion cover for team India which might be decisive in a multination series such as the Asia Cup
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