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Asia Cup team of the tournament - Power up top, many all-round options, and fire with the ball

Four from Sri Lanka, three from Pakistan, and two each from India and Afghanistan make up the ESPNcricinfo XI

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Kusal Mendis was up to the job of scoring quickly in the powerplay  •  Getty Images

Kusal Mendis was up to the job of scoring quickly in the powerplay  •  Getty Images

Six last-over finishes, one century, one five-for, and plenty of thrills and spills - the Asia Cup 2022 had it all. A tournament that fights for relevance was in the end the perfect build-up to the T20 World Cup that will follow, and had a number of star performers to thank for it. The best of them figure in the ESPNcricinfo Team of the Tournament.
Kusal Mendis
Numbers: 155 runs at a strike rate of 156.56
He ended the tournament with back-to-back ducks, but played a big role in Sri Lanka's inspired run to the final. He set the tone at the top of the order with his blazing strokeplay and firebrand approach to help scale down targets of 184, 176 and 174 against Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India respectively. That he has made a seamless switch from being a middle-order batter to an opener bodes well for Sri Lanka as they prepare for the T20 World Cup.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk)
Numbers: 152 runs at a strike rate of 163.44; three catches
Gurbaz provided a peek into his big-hitting abilities on the opening night when he blasted an 18-ball 40 in a small chase against Sri Lanka. Around a week later, also against Sri Lanka, he was at it again, when he laid the platform up top with a robust 45-ball 84 to set up a strong total batting first. He ended with a duck, against India, but it was good signs from a strong hitter up top.
Virat Kohli
Numbers: 276 runs at a strike rate of 147.59
Two half-centuries, and, finally, his first T20I century. Along the way, his century drought across formats, that had lasted 1020 days, ended. He started scratchily, but the fluency kept getting better with every passing innings. He ended the tournament second on the run chart behind Mohammad Rizwan and looked his dominant old self again.
Ibrahim Zadran
Numbers: 196 runs at a strike rate of 104.25
If Afghanistan proved there's more to them than just their spinners and six-hitters, it was courtesy performances of the kind Ibrahim displayed. Normally an opener, he has had to adjust to a middle-order role, and provided the ice to the fire of the stroke-makers around him. His unbeaten 42 against Bangladesh was a big show of responsibility in seeing off a small chase, while knocks of 40 and 64* against Sri Lanka and India respectively were further proof of his evolution.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Numbers: 191 runs at a strike rate of 149.21
Only nine months ago, he had hastily retired from international cricket, only to be coaxed back. An IPL stint followed by a stream of decent scores all year round made him a key player for Sri Lanka. At the Asia Cup, he brought out a big performance on the big stage - the final - with Sri Lanka with their backs to the wall. From 58 for 5, his rescue act, along with Wanindu Hasaranga, took them to 170 for 6, which was then defended by a young line-up.
Dasun Shanaka (capt)
Numbers: 111 runs at a strike rate of 138.75; 2 wickets at an economy rate of 12
He rallied a young team through a tough phase and is now reaping the rewards. He also played a key role in delivering two key wins. The first was a 33-ball 45 in a chase of 184 against Bangladesh. And then, he went one better against India. First, his wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya denied India the finish they were looking for. Then he made a calm, unbeaten 18-ball 33 to take them home in the final over.
Mohammad Nawaz
Numbers: 8 wickets in six innings at an economy rate of 5.89; 79 runs at a strike rate of 143.63
His overs of no-frills left-arm spin gave Babar Azam some flexibility in the field to bring him on according to match-ups. With the bat, Nawaz proved to be more than a handful, especially in Pakistan's win over India where he was essentially promoted to disrupt India's two legspinners. He responded with a 20-ball 42 to script a win that helped them make a dash to the final.
Wanindu Hasaranga
Numbers: 9 wickets in six innings at an economy rate of 7.39; 66 runs at a strike rate of 150
He was a star with the bat in the final, and a star with the ball all tournament long. With him around, Sri Lanka didn't need to worry about keeping batters quiet in the middle overs. He ended the tournament with back-to-back three-wicket hauls, but the impact performance was his 58-run partnership off just 36 balls with Rajapaksa that helped launch the big fightback. His nine strikes were the second-most in the tournament.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Numbers: 11 wickets in five innings at an economy rate of 6.05
It was far from a perfect performance, where his death-overs execution went awry more than once, but with the new ball, Bhuvneshwar was as good as they come. Like Afghanistan found out in the dead rubber when he uprooted their top order in a superb spell of 5 for 4. His impact performance, however, was in the tournament opener against Pakistan, when he combined with Hardik to set up victory for India by executing a sharp short-ball plan. He finished as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
Haris Rauf
Numbers: 8 wickets in six innings at an economy rate of 7.65
If opponents thought they could relax a bit after Pakistan's relentless new-ball attack, Haris Rauf had reason to have a good laugh about it. He can be deceptive, especially when he hits hard lengths. He can combine that with serious gas, like he did in the final when he sent Danushka Gunathilaka's stumps flying with a 151kph thunderbolt. His strengths lie in being able to bowl with pace and fire at all stages of an innings.
Naseem Shah
Numbers: 7 wickets in five innings at an economy rate of 7.66
The late curve into Mendis in the final, that snuck through to send off stump cartwheeling, was a small glimpse into the magical world of Naseem Shah. He swings the ball at a serious pace and has an excellent short ball to boot. With the bat, he reminded many of good old Javed Miandad when he hit back-to-back sixes to win a Sharjah thriller against Afghanistan.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo