Harsha Bhogle Picks His Best XI Asia Cup 2022, No Place For Hardik Pandya

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Harsha Bhogle Picks His Best XI Asia Cup 2022, No Place For Hardik Pandya

Harsha Bhogle Hardik Pandya

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have made it to the final of the Asia Cup 2022, having ended India’s ambition of making it a hat-trick of Asia Cup title wins.

Even though the defending champions had a rather disappointing, and even a bit shocking slip-up losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4, India will take a few positives out of the tournament - the biggest being the return of Virat Kohli and the handling of death-overs pressure by Arshdeep Singh.

Sri Lanka have had an inspired run in the tournament after losing to Afghanistan in their first game, after which they have four games in a row, defeating Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

The biggest worry for Babar Azam is his own poor form in this tournament, but he’d be happy to see his young and inexperienced pacers step up in the absence of Shaheen Afridi. Afghanistan started the campaign with a bang with wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but then lost all three Super 4 matches; they, though, also have a few positives in both batting and bowling department.

Virat Kohli Mohammed Rizwan
Image Source - Hindustan Times

Harsha Bhogle picks only 2 Indians in his best XI of the Asia Cup 2022;

Renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle picked his best XI of the Asia Cup 2022 before the final. In his best team of the tournament, Bhogle had only 2 Indians: Virat Kohli, who is currently the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 276 runs in 5 matches - 50 runs ahead of the second-best Rizwan, who is one of the openers in Bhogle’s XI - and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is the leading wicket-taker before the final with 11 scalps, having concluded his tournament with 5/4 vs Afghanistan.

To partner Rizwan at the top, Bhogle opted for Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the dynamic Afghanistan opener who smashed 152 runs at a strike rate of 163; Gurbaz had the highest strike rate of all the 6 batters who scored over 150 runs (until the final).

After Kohli at number 3, the left-handed pair of Najibullah Zadran and Bhanuka Rajapaksa are slotted in Bhogle’s XI. With few options to choose for number 4, Bhogle said that he was impressed by Zadran controlling and finishing games - he batted at a strike rate of 171 for his 72 runs - and while Rajapaksa, a pillar of Sri Lanka, scored 120 runs at a strike rate of 144.

Hardik Pandya
Image Source - MyKhel

No Hardik Pandya in Harsha Bhogle’s XI

Bhogle boldly dropped Hardik Pandya from his side and instead picked two other all-rounders: Dasun Shanaka, the inspiring Lankan skipper who’s scored 109 runs at a strike rate of 141, and Shadab Khan, who has taken 7 wickets in 4 matches and turned the game around against Afghanistan with the bat smashing 36 runs.

The other Pakistani all-rounder, Mohammad Nawaz, who hurt India with both bat and ball, is the third all-rounder in Bhogle’s side. Nawaz has picked up 8 wickets and scored 73 runs at a strike rate of 158. Couple of big omissions in the spin department were Rashid Khan and Hasaranga.

The three frontline pacers that Harsha Bhogle went with are Bhuvneshwar (11 wickets in 5 matches), Naseem Shah (6 wickets in 4 matches), and left-arm Sri Lankan Dilshan Madushanka (6 wickets in 5 matches).

Harsha Bhogle’s best XI of the Asia Cup 2022:

Mohammad Rizwan wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Virat Kohli, Najibullah Zadran, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Naseem Shah, Dilshan Madushanka.