Asia Cup is the tournament that identifies which is the strongest team in the continent and India have pretty much dominated the tournament in its 34-year history. The Men in Blue have won the title six times - more than any other team while Sri Lanka hold the second spot with five wins. The tournament gets more hype every time as it promises the clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. Due to the political relations between the neighbouring countries, we have witnessed many heated arguments between players and that instantly becomes the highlight of the game.
Asia Cup 2018 will be starting from 15th September with the clash between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the opening match in Dubai. The tournament will set the tone for next year's ICC World Cup as all the Asian countries will like to get an upper hand over the neighbouring nations by clinching the title of Asian Champions. India are the current holders and will start their title defence against rookie Hong Kong on 18th September.
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Here is a flashback of some heated incidents involving Indian players in Asia Cup history:-
1. Rohit Sharma vs Mustafizur Rahman- Asia Cup 2015
The talented Indian opener had a small scuffle with then 19-years-old Rahman while batting. It was the 5th over when Rohit hit the ball and ran for the single, but the immature Rahman tried to stop him by moving in front of him while he was running. That made the right-handed opener furious as he immediately pointed his finger at the young Bangladesh bowler and said a few words. Later Rohit complained about Rahman to the umpire and eventually, the young lad had to apologize to the Maharashtra boy for his mistake.
2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni vs Mustafizur Rahman- Asia Cup 2015
The former Indian captain who is known for his calm behaviour on the field, lost his cool against the left-handed fast bowler, when he tried to do the same thing with 'Captain Cool' that he had done with Rohit Sharma. In the same match where Rahman tried to stop Rohit while he was completing the single, he repeated the mistake with then Indian captain Dhoni in the 25th over. Unlike Rohit, 'Captain Cool' didn't utter any word towards Rahman but he did the unthinkable as the strong wicketkeeper-batsman hit the young Bangladesh lad with his shoulder. The matter did stop there and no further arguments happened during the course of the game.
3. Gautam Gambhir vs Kamran Akmal - Asia Cup 2010
India vs Pakistan is the most anticipated match in the Asian sub-continent as the political tension between the two nations amplifies the high voltage drama among the fans. It was the fourth match of the Asia Cup 2010 when the Indian opener had a heated argument with Pakistan's wicketkeeper while India were chasing the target of 268 runs. The Men in Blue were two wickets down, needing 101 runs in 97 balls and Gambhir missed a delivery from Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal and wicketkeeper Akmal shouted for an appeal which was referred to the third umpire by the on-field umpire. Eventually, the Delhi boy was declared not out. During the drinks break a hot-headed Gambhir walked up to Akmal and argued with him regarding the appeal. The argument got heated until umpire Billy Bowden and Dhoni intervened to stop the scuffle.
4. Harbhajan Singh vs Shoaib Akhtar - Asia Cup 2010
The same match witnessed the clash between friends Harbhajan and Akhtar during the business end of the game. It was a tight match and both teams had an equal chance of stealing the victory. When Akhtar came on to bowl the 47th over and Turbonator hit him for a massive six, it didn't go down well with the Rawalpindi Express. On the last ball of 49th over Akhtar bowled a bouncer to the Indian off-spinner after which they both indulged in a war of words while the drama continued in the last over. With India needing 2 runs off 3 balls and Mohammad Amir bowling the match-deciding over Harbhajan had the last laugh as he swung his bat in full flow to send the ball and rivals Pakistan out of the tournament.