Indian Batsmen are some of the most decorated cricketers in the world. From Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, opponents have always respected the batting talents of India. Those of us who have witnessed Team India in the Asia Cup know what Indian batsmen are truly capable of.
The History of Asia Cup
Asia Cup is played amongst the cricket playing nations of Asia. It was formed as an attempt to increase cooperation between Asia countries through cricket. Asia cup is the only continental cup of cricket and it was scheduled to be played every two years.
India has won 7 Asia cups making it the most successful nation. Sri Lanka has won 6 times, and Pakistan has only won it twice. Bangladesh, Afghanistan, the UAE, Nepal, etc. are yet to win the cup.
Since India has the most stellar record in the Asia Cup, they also have many eye-catching individual performances. 11 players have scored 15 centuries in total against Asian teams.
Asia Cup Centurions For India
- Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu scored the first century in the Asia Cup for India. The century was against Bangladesh in Chandigargh. Sidhu was unbeaten while scoring 104 runs in 109 balls with ten boundaries and three sixes and a S/R of 95.41.
India Beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets in that match. The winners achieve the target of 171 runs in 36.5 overs. Navjot Sidhu started the dominating streak of Indian Batsmen in Asia Cup.
- Sachin Tendulkar (2)
Sachin Tendulkar has scored 2 centuries in Asia Cup. The first one was against Sri Lanka at Sharjah and second one was against Bangladesh in Mirpur. The century against Bangladesh was his 100th century.
Sachin Tendulkar played a stormy innings against Sri Lanka where he scored 112 runs in just 107 balls. He hit fifteen boundaries and 1 over boundary and had a S/R of 104.67. It was the fifth match in Sharjah and India won due to sachin’s Performance.
Against Bangladesh, India lost despite Sachin’s big moment. Sachin scored 114 runs in 147 balls with 12 boundaries and 1 over boundary and with a S/R of 77.55. India scored 289/5 which was chased by Bangladesh.
- Sourav Ganguly
Sourav ganguly scored 135 runs in 124 balls against Bangladesh. He hit six 4’s and seven 6’s. One can only imagine the devastation he caused to moral of bangladeshi players. The match was played in Bangabandhu National stadium, Bangladesh and it was only the second match of the tournament.
Indian chased the 250 runs target with relative ease and won the match with 8 wickets in hand. However, India also did not qualify for the final as they lost the remaining matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
- Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid played a very unlikely knock with a S/R of 111.82. He scored 104 runs from just 93 balls where he hit 8 boundaries. The knock was against UAE in Dambulla stadium, Sri Lanka.
India scored 260/6 in 50 overs and UAE’s innings ended in just 144 runs, giving India an astounding victory of 116 runs. UAE vs India paved the way for India to play super 4 against Pakistan.
- Virendra Sehwag
Virendra Sehwag is known for his explosive batting. He played another explosive match against India’s arch nemesis Pakistan. He scored 119 runs in just 95 balls with an S/R of 125.69. He played 12 boundaries and 5 over boundaries.
The match was played in Karachi stadium. Pakistan set 300 run target for India. India chased the target very easily after Sehwag scored the century. India triumphed in just 42.1 overs.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Karachi stadium keeps on giving India centuries in Asia Cup. Mahendra Dhoni scored 109* runs in just 96 balls with the help of six 4’s and six 6’s. It was the second match of India.
India scored 374/4 and Hongkong was all out within 118. This is also the match where Suresh Raina had scored his century. India won the match by 256 runs.
- Suresh Raina (2)
Suresh Raina scored a hundred along with MS Dhoni in the same match. Raina’s innings was devastating for Hong Kong, as he scored 101 runs in just 68 balls with an S/R of 148.52. Another Major batsman that day was Virendra Sehwag who scored 78 runs.
Suresh Raina has another century against Bangladesh, in Karachi. He scored 116* in just 107 balls. This was a super four match. India chased Bangladesh’s 284-run target in just 3 wickets.
- Gautam Gambhir
This was the second match of 2012 Asia Cup in Mirpur Stadium. Gautam Gambhir scored exactly 100 runs in 118 balls with seven 4’s. It was a classic batting carnival. Another centurion of this match is Virat Kohli.
India scored 304/3 and won the match by 50 runs. Indian Bowling attack did not give any breathing room to the Sri Lankans.
- Virat Kohli (3)
Virat Kohli has three century in Asia Cup making him the player with most centuries in Asia Cup for India. Virat has scored those centuries against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Along with Suresh Raina Virat scored 108 runs in 120 balls against Sri Lanka. He scored 6 boundaries and 1 over boundary.
India needed to chase 330 runs against Pakistan. Virat Kohli played a phenomenal 183 run innings in just 148 balls leading India to a 6 wicket wins against their rivals. He had twenty-two 4’s and one 6’s in the match. India won that match against Pakistan after their loss against Bangladesh.
India finally got their revenge against Bangladesh in the next Asia Cup. They won the match by 6 wickets. Virat Kohli scored a fast 136 runs in just 122 balls. He hit sixteen 4’s and two 6’s. Bangladesh batted first and set a target of 280 runs. India chased the target with ease due to Virat Kohli’s century and Rahane’s responsible knock. The match was played in Fatullah, Bangladesh.
- Shikhar Dhawan(2)
Shikhar Dhawan has two centuries. One of them is against Hong Kong another one is against Pakistan.
Shikhar Dhawan scored 127 runs in 120 balls. India scored 285/7 and won the match by 26 runs. Shikhar Dhawan played a responsible knock but it was explosive sometimes as well. He hit fifteen boundaries and two over boundaries in the match.
The second century of Shikhar Dhawan was against Pakistan. Pakistan just scored 237/7 in that match. The venue was in Dubai which is an ideal gound for chasing. Since it was a super four match the pressure was high for India. However Due to the stellar Partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma India won the match by 9 wickets.
Shikhar Dhawann made 114 runs in 100 balls with sixteen boundaries and two over boundaries.
- Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma’s Hundred came with Shikhar Dhawan’s in the same match against Pakistan. He made 11 runs in 119 balls. To reach the runs he had to hit seven 4’s and four 6’s. It is the only century of Rohit Sharma in Asia Cup.
Centuries in limited over cricket is often important to change the course of a match or to boost morale. Since India is the best and most successful Asia Cup teams, it is also the team with a lot of centuries. There are 17 centuries in total made by 11 Indian players.
Each of these centuries has played a pivotal role in winning the Asia Cup either by directly contributing to the match or by boosting the overall morale of the team. Being the best is hard but India has proven themselves over and over again.