The Asia Cup 2023 group stage came to an end on September 5, 2023, and that saw Sri Lanka edging out Afghanistan by 2 runs in a thrilling contest to confirm their spot in the Super 4s stage of the tournament.
India and Pakistan qualified from Group A which saw Nepal getting eliminated after losing both their matches, while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka made it into the Super 4s from Group B, with Afghanistan being eliminated.
The captains of all the teams were responsible for guiding and leading their units in the two Group stage matches and we take a look at how they fared.
Here are the ratings for all captains in the Asia Cup 2023 Group Stage
Rohit Paudel (Nepal)- 3/10
It was the first time the 20-year-old Rohit Paudel was captaining the Nepal side and that too in a big tournament like Asia Cup 2023.
Against Pakistan, Paudel had a good grip on the game for the first half, when his bowlers picked up a few early wickets. But once Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed opened their shoulders, his inexperience in captaincy was on display as Nepal bowlers were hammered to all parts of the Multan ground.
Against India, he couldn’t do much in a rain-shortened game as both Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill went after the Nepal bowlers from the start and though there were some good deliveries by them, the total they were defending was too low.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (Afghanistan)- 5/10
Hashmatullah Shahidi’s captaincy must be put under scanner by the Afghanistan Cricket Board as they have now lost 5 ODIs on a trot, including the three against Pakistan earlier. Shahidi’s captaincy lacks the assertiveness and creativity to make an impact.
Against Bangladesh, he held back Rashid Khan for too long when Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto were hammering their bowlers and then against Sri Lanka, while some might say the officials should’ve told them about the qualification rules.
But as a captain Shahidi should have also asked the officials about the same and conveyed it to his batters in the middle.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)- 6/10
Shakib Al Hasan is an experienced captain of the Bangladesh side and while his team was the first to make it into the Super 4s stage, his captaincy had a lot to be desired for. Especially against Sri Lanka, when his bowlers had picked three early wickets in defence of a 165-run target.
But then Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka took the game away from Bangladesh and won it by 5 runs.
Dasun Shanaka (Sri Lanka)- 6/10
Dasun Shanaka has been one of the most consistent captains in the world today. His leadership in T20Is is exceptional, but in ODIs, sometimes he lets the game drift and sometimes, it might become troublesome for his team.
Against Bangladesh, he used his bowlers amazingly well to pick wickets at regular intervals and it helped them restrict Shakib and his side to a low total.
But versus Afghanistan, his captaincy came to the fore in how he marshalled his troops in a pressure situation where his fielding plans and bowling changes were up to the mark, even when Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan looked dangerously close to taking the game away from Sri Lanka.
Rohit Sharma (India)- 6.5/10
Rohit Sharma had a tough day against Nepal as he watched his fielder’s grass easy chances right at the start of the game. And then when it looked like Nepal would only make around 170 odd, Sompal Kami’s brilliant 48 took them to 230 runs.
Rohit would want to do better as he has tough tasks against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in the later stages of the Asia Cup 2023.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)- 7/10
Babar Azam didn’t have too much captaincy against Nepal as they were bowled out for 104 runs in a chase of 342 runs, but he had led from the front with the bat as he hammered 151, the highest score by a captain in the Asia Cup tournament.
Against India, his bowlers gave him much comfort with four quick wickets and the scalp of Shreyas Iyer was purely due to good placement and setting up. But he looked out of ideas when Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan got going, and though they added more than 100 runs together, Babar managed to break the partnership and then wrap the innings quickly.