The Asia Cup has been a happy hunting ground for Sri Lankan bowlers. The six-time champions had an incredible batting lineup throughout the 1990s and into the early 2010s, but it was perhaps their skill and wicket-taking ability with ball in hand that earned them the success in these years.
Four of the Asia Cup's 5 all-time leading wicket-takers in the ODI format hail from Sri Lanka. Muttiah Muralitharan is unsurprisingly the head of the list, with 30 wickets between 1995 and 2010. Right on his heels is Lasith Malinga, whose white-ball excellence in subcontinental conditions came through with 29 wickets, including three 5-wicket-hauls.
Third on the list is the original mystery spinner, Ajantha Mendis, whose numbers are phenomenal. He also possesses the best figures in any Asia Cup match, with the famous 6/13 destruction of India in 2008. He took 17 wickets in that tournament, which is also the most by any bowler in a single tournament at the Asia Cup, just ahead of Irfan Pathan's 14 in the tournament prior. Mendis ended his Asia Cup career with 26 wickets in just 8 matches, at a remarkable average just sitting above 10.
Saeed Ajmal is the first non-Lankan in the top wicket-takers list with 25 wickets for Pakistan in 12 matches, and he is followed up by Chaminda Vaas taking 23 wickets in 19. In the T20I tournaments, Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the pack with 13 wickets across two editions. He also holds the best figures and the only five-for, conceding only 4 runs as he ran through the Afghanistan order in 2022.
Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka holds the record for the most Asia Cup wickets with 30 wickets from 24 matches
India fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the leading wicket-taker in Asia Cup 2022 with 11 wickets.
Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka has the most 5-wicket hauls in Asia Cup history having taken five wickets in an innings three times – with a best of 5/34.
Virat Kohli has had reasonable success playing the Asia Cup having scored 613 runs from 11 ODIs at an average of 61.30.
Virat Kohli won the Asia Cup in 2010 and 2016. Although on both occasions, he lifted the trophy as a player with MS Dhoni captaining India in both editions.
Virat Kohli has an average of 61.30 in Asia Cup tournaments played in 50-over format.
India announced a 17-member squad for Asia Cup 2023 featuring the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and the returning trio of KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah, all three of whom have recovered from their respective injuries. Sanju Samson has been picked as a back-up player while Yuzvendra Chahal was surprisingly ignored.
Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka is the most successful bowler in Asia Cup with 30 wickets from 24 matches
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has not played an ODI since January of 2022 and with him not likely to be part of the World Cup later this year, the off-spinner is expected to miss the Asia Cup 2023.
India is the most successful team in Asia Cup having won the title 7 times - 1984, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2010, 2016, and 2018.
Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma have won the Asia Cup as India captains.
India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has recovered from his back injury and is set to play the Asia Cup 2023 after missing the previous edition last year.
KL Rahul is currently recovering from a hamstring injury that he sustained during the IPL 2023, and although the BCCI has recently given a positive update on the Indian batter, the chances of him playing the Asia Cup are less.
The fastest ball bowled by Jasprit Bumrah was clocked at 153.36 kph in a Test match against Australia at Adelaide in 2018.
India quicks Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are fit, and will spearhead the fast-bowling attack at the Asia Cup 2023
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2022 midway through the tournament due to a knee injury sustained while fielding against Hong Kong.
Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka has grabbed the most wickets by a fast bowler in the Asia Cup with 29 wickets.