In recent times, Asia has always been at the forefront of the game of cricket. India was the first Asian nation to be granted Test status in 1932 and since then Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan joining the fray.
India was also the first Asian team to win the coveted ODI Cricket World Cup trophy in 1983 with Pakistan and Sri Lanka the following suit in 1992 and 1996 respectively. The Asian influence in cricket can also be seen in the ICC with all the major Asian nations' representatives holding important offices in the council at one time or another.
Given this scenario, Team COC has picked the best of the Asian players, who have had exemplary performances and records in the One-Day format.
Therefore here is the all-time great Asia ODI XI:
The openers for the all-time Asia XI can only be Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and India’s Sachin Tendulkar. Both have played more than 440 ODI matches each and have more than 10,000 runs each with a reputation that makes them the greatest openers in the format.
Jayasuriya changed the way first 15 overs of field restrictions were utilized in 1996 World Cup with his ultra-aggressive way of playing, while Sachin Tendulkar carried the Indian batting for the whole of the 1990s and his record speaks for himself.
One of the legendary Sri Lankan batsmen in Kumar Sangakkara gets the no.3 spot in the XI, where he scored most of his runs and the only man to hit four consecutive centuries in ODI cricket. At no.4 comes the modern great in Virat Kohli, who is rewriting the records of Sachin Tendulkar in ODI cricket. The second highest century-maker in the format can play the role of lynchpin in the XI.
Javed Miandad, MS Dhoni, and Imran Khan make the lower middle order for the team. Miandad practically invented the quick running between the wickets and was an excellent player of spin in the middle order and could also take on the fast bowlers if needed. Then you have perhaps the greatest captain India has ever had in ODI cricket, who won all the three ICC silverware and then some more. An excellent finisher and runner between the wickets, he compliments Miandad pretty well. MS Dhoni also captains the COC's all-time Asia XI in ODI cricket.
After Dhoni, comes perhaps the greatest all-rounder to be produced by Pakistan in Imran Khan, who could bowl at lightning speed and tonk a few down the order with the bat.
For spinners, we have the two of the highest wicket-takers in international cricket in Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka and India’s Anil Kumble. A legspinner par excellence and a wizard-like off-spinner bamboozling the batsmen can only be a sight to be imagined.
You need firepower with the ball to bowl the opposition out and who better than the two Ws to do that for your XI. Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are regarded as the best fast bowlers in both the formats they played and in ODIs, their pace and guile along with the toe-crushing yorkers just makes it difficult for opposition batsmen to get on top both at the start and in the death overs with bowlers of their caliber bowling in tandem.
As for the 12th man of the team is concerned, Bangladesh’s greatest player ever Shakib-Al-Hasan is the best pick one can have. He can bat, field and is an exceptional left-arm spinner and can replace any of the batsmen or bowlers for that matter in the main XI.
This team can give any other team in the world some tough competition and though many other greats had to be left out, this is the best team that can be world beaters in every sense of the game.
Here is the all-time Asia Cup ODI XI:
Sachin Tendulkar (IND), Sanath Jayasuriya (SL), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Virat Kohli (IND), Javed Miandad (PAK), MS Dhoni (C/WK-IND), Imran Khan (PAK), Wasim Akram (PAK), Muttiah Muralitharan(SL), Waqar Younis (PAK), Anil Kumble(IND), Shakib-Al-Hasan (12th Man-BAN)