The independent voice of cricket

International Cricket

The all-time Asia ODI XI, according to the ICC rankings

The All-Time Asia ODI XI, According To The ICC Rankings
by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Asia has produced a number of ODI legends in the history of cricket. Here we take a look at the all-time Asia XI in ODI cricket based on the ICC player rankings.

As is the case when picking other XIs based on ICC rankings, we will stick to a few rules to ensure the team is somewhat balanced. In this all-time Asia ODI XI, we’ve picked the top four batsmen in the batting rankings, the top batter who is also a keeper, the top two all-rounders and the top four bowlers.

Here goes…

Sachin Tendulkar – India

ICC all-time batting ranking: 15th (887 points)

ODIs: 463, 18,426 runs, Avg: 44.83, HS: 200*

463 ODIs. That is one year and three months of Tendulkar’s life that he spent playing one-day cricket. And on one of those days he made history by scoring the first ever double century in a one-day international. Incredibly, given his total of 49 centuries, his first didn’t arrive until his 79th match but they soon flowed after as he redefined the role of the opener in the format. As ever, the Little Master is a shoo-in.

Virat Kohli  – India

ICC all-time batting ranking: 6th (911 points)

ODIs: 254, 12,169 runs, Avg: 59.07, HS: 183

Given how many players in this team prefer batting at No.3 (Rohit Sharma just misses the cut-off), Virat Kohli has been pushed up to open, with him and Sachin making a dream combo. A frankly ludicrous record that includes 43 centuries and 62 half-centuries in his 250 games makes him, for many people, the greatest ODI batter of all time.

Zaheer Abbas – Pakistan

ICC all-time batting ranking: 2nd (931 points)

ODIs: 62, 2,572 runs, Avg: 47.62, HS: 123

Abbas is a legendary figure of Pakistan cricket with his status confirmed in 2020 as he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. Though he played just 62 ODIs across 11 years, he was one of the first great 50-over batsmen, and the first person to score three consecutive ODI centuries, all of which came against arch-rivals India.

Javed Miandad – Pakistan

ICC all-time batting ranking: 7th (910 points)

ODIs: 233, 7,381 runs, Avg: 41.70, HS: 119*

Often cited as the greatest batsman that Pakistan has ever produced, Miandad was a pioneer of ODI cricket and believed to be one of the first batters to bring aggressive running into the game. He also played a vital role in Pakistan’s World Cup win in 1992, scoring six half-centuries.

Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka

ICC all-time batting ranking: 24th (861 points)

ODIs: 404, 14,234 runs, Avg: 41.98, HS: 169

The man with the gloves in this team, Kumar Sangakkara’s class reached its ODI peak in 2015 when he became the first man to score three – and then four – consecutive centuries at a World Cup. A wonderful player across all formats, Sangakkara’s ability was as present as ever in the ODI format.

Imran Khan – Pakistan

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 10th (480 points)

175 ODIs, 3,709 runs, Avg: 33.41, HS: 102*; 182 wickets, Avg: 26.61, BBI: 6-14

Perhaps Pakistan’s greatest captain, and one of the greatest cricketers of all time, Imran Khan led his ‘cornered tigers’ to an incredible comeback victory in the 1992 World Cup.

Kapil Dev – India

ICC all-time all-rounder ranking: 1st (631 points)

225 ODIs, 3,783 runs, Avg: 23.79, HS: 175*; 253 wickets, Avg: 27.45, BBI: 5-43

The top-ranked all-rounder in the ICC all-time ODI rankings, Kapil Dev is one of the greatest cricketers India has ever produced, and captained them to perhaps their greatest triumph, with victory in the 1983 World Cup kickstarting an explosion in popularity for the sport. His over-the-shoulder catch of Viv Richards is remembered as the moment the final turned India’s way.

Wasim Akram – Pakistan

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 15th (851 points)

ODIs: 356, 502 wickets, Avg: 23.52, BBI: 5-15

The second highest ODI wicket-taker of all time, Akram made up one-half of the formidable white-ball partnership with Waqar Younis that saw batters fear for their toes as much as their wicket such was the ferocity of their yorkers.

Chaminda Vaas – Sri Lanka

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 12th (862 points)

ODIs: 322, 400 wickets, Avg: 27.53, BBI: 8-19

Vaas reached 400 ODI wickets in his final match by taking the wicket of Yuvraj Singh. A bowler of supreme skill and control, Vaas was capable of moving the ball both ways through the air and also possessed an excellent off-cutter. He can also lay claim to the only eight-wicket haul in the history of the format.

Maninder Singh – India

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 14th (851 points)

ODIs: 59, 66 wickets, Avg: 31.30, BBI: 4-22

Maninder Singh is a very fine cricketer but it’s perhaps a quirk of the ICC rankings that sees him sit so highly. Singh reached No.1 in the world and an all-time high ICC ranking of 851 in January 1988 after a productive 1987 World Cup where he was the fourth highest wicket taker.

Muttiah Muralitharan – Sri Lanka

ICC all-time bowling ranking: 4th (913 points)

ODIs: 350, 534 wickets, Avg: 23.08, BBI: 7-30

The leading ODI wicket taker of all time, it could hardly have been anyone else to round off the team. Murali provided years of fascination and entertainment for fans around the world, whilst providing nightmares for batters. Also worth a flashy 10 at the end with the bat.

The all-time Asia ODI XI, as based on the ICC rankings

Sachin Tendulkar
Virat Kohli
Zaheer Abbas
Javed Miandad
Kumar Sangakkara (wk)
Imran Khan
Kapil Dev
Wasim Akram
Chaminda Vaas
Maninder Singh
Muttiah Muralitharan

Sign up to The Cricket Draft, powered by Wisden, an all-new, free-to-play fantasy game running alongside The Hundred, to win prizes and compete with your friends.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99