The last ODI Asia Cup winners: India’s 2018 campaign

From epic matches to standout players, relive India's thrilling journey to becoming the last ODI Asia Cup Winners

The 2018 Asia Cup tournament was filled with adrenaline-pumping action and memorable moments. It saw 6 cricketing giants from Asia fighting to be the champion of Asia. Battling against all challenges, the cricket giant India won the tournament. Let’s dive into their triumphant journey.

A Glimpse of India’s journey to the finals

The last ODI Asia Cup winners: India's 2018 campaign
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The journey from the initial rounds to the climactic finish was both challenging and revealing. India's progression was a mix of strategy and skill, resulting in a deserving victory. Despite the absence of their regular skipper, Virat Kohli, India's blend of youth and experience under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma rose to the occasion. They showcased their resilience and adaptability at the right moments to emerge as the last ODI Asia Cup winners. 

The group stage and the first 2 matches of the Super Four were comparatively easy, but the final match against Afghanistan was very challenging. It was one of the best matches in the tournament, ending in a tie. But this didn’t stop India from qualifying for the Final.

Epic Matches of India in the 2018 Asia Cup

India's journey through the 2018 Asia Cup was marked by some unforgettable matches that showed why India is one of the best cricket playing nations.

  • India vs Pakistan – The mere mention of these 2 teams evokes a myriad of emotions. Their 2018 face-off was very exciting as they faced each other twice in the tournament. While India trumped Pakistan in both games, it was a celebration of the sport, resonating with fans from all corners of the world. The matches showcased why India were in contention to become the last ODI Asia Cup winners. Their dominance in both batting and bowling left a mark.
  • India vs Bangladesh – Intensity. Grit. Passion. This encounter had it all. Both teams exhibited exceptional skill, but India's seasoned approach ensured they had the edge, making them the last ODI Asia Cup winners.
  • India vs Afghanistan – This unexpected thriller was a testament to the beauty of cricket. Afghanistan, the underdogs rose magnificently, holding the Indian juggernaut to a tie, symbolizing the unpredictable essence of the game. 

Key players in India’s Asia Cup campaign

Behind the scintillating victories were heroes who delivered match-winning performances, setting India on a trajectory toward the champion title. Let's take a look at 3 such heroes.

Rohit Sharma – The Leading Light

Captaining the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma’s leadership was exemplary. His batting, always a spectacle, was particularly noteworthy during this campaign. Rohit scored a total of 317 runs in 5 matches with an average of 105.66 and maintained a strike rate of 93.51.

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Jasprit Bumrah – The Yorker King

Jasprit Bumrah, with his impeccable line and length, was a thorn in the side for many batsmen. His ability to deliver pin-point yorkers in the death overs reaffirmed India's position as the favorites to be the last ODI Asia Cup winners. Bumrah played 4 matches and took 8 wickets with an average of only 16. What was mostly amazing was his economy of only 3.67 runs per over. He was one of the most economical bowlers of the tournament.

Shikhar Dhawan – The Stylish Opener

Shikhar Dhawan
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Shikhar Dhawan, also known as ‘Gabbar,' roared in the 2018 UAE Asia Cup. With his signature cut shots and aggressive opening stands, Dhawan piled on runs consistently, providing the perfect starts for India. He was the tournament's highest run scorer, making 342 runs in 5 matches with an average of 68.40. He also maintained an impressive strike rate of 102.08.

The Grand Finale

The final of the Asia Cup was nothing short of a cinematic thriller. India faced Bangladesh, a team that had shown resilience and brilliance throughout the tournament. The match swung like a pendulum, with both sides having their moments. India scored 223 for 7 wickets in 50 overs. In response, Bangladesh were all out for 222 with 9 balls remaining! The match was a nail-biter, but India's experience and class shone through, making them the last ODI Asia Cup winners.

Legacy of India’s 2018 Asia Cup Campaign

Becoming Asia Cup winners isn't just about holding a trophy. It's about the legacy, the memories created, and the benchmark set for future tournaments. India's 2018 Asia Cup campaign was more than just a series of matches. It was a testament to their skill, strategy, and spirit in the limited-overs format.

The 2018 ODI Asia Cup is a perfect example of India's dominance in Asian cricketing conditions. Their journey, filled with memorable matches, individual brilliance and collective team spirit, rightfully earned them the title of the last ODI Asia Cup winners. As fans eagerly await the next edition in 2023, the 2018 campaign will live on their memories.

Jish BJish B

Born to a cricket-crazy father and a writer mother, Jish combined his parents' passions to fuel his own dreams of being a sports journalist. If it's got a scoring system and needs to be written about, chances are this guy has written about it.