Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka praised his team for reaching in Asia Cup 2023 final, scheduled to be played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
Shanaka emphasised that Sri Lanka have only lost to India in the ongoing tournament.
The all-rounder credited the defending champions for fighting spirit in the match against India, where Dunith Wellalage’s five-wicket haul and Charith Asalanka’s four-wicket haul helped them bundle out the visitors for 213.
Youngster Wellalage achieved a remarkable feat as he secured his maiden 5-wicket haul, single-handedly dismantling a formidable Indian batting lineup and bagging the wicket of top batters like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.
“Yeah, Sri Lanka are peaking at the right time. You know the boys deliberately want to deliver for the country. As a team, we’ve been underdogs, so everyone wants to perform on the bigger stage. These youngsters need to show the world what they are capable of. That’s the secret of this young team,” Dasuna said in a pre-match press conference as quoted by Sri Lanka Cricket Board’s YouTube channel on Saturday.
Asalanka also troubled India a lot as he finished with the figure of 4/18 while Dhananjaya De Silva kept things quiet from one end while the other bowlers picked up wickets from the opposite end.
“In the India game, you saw how we fought after the first 10 overs with the bowling. They [fans] like to see these kids Dunith Wellalage, Matheesha Pathirana, and the young batsmen like Charith Asalanka, and Pathum Nissanka how they chip in this game. Not to forget Sadeera Samarawickrama as well,” Dasun Shanaka said.
Shanaka added that they would need to replicate their Super 4 performance against India if they wanted to have a chance of winning the Asia Cup.
“Of course, we are ready [for the Asia Cup 2023 final]. See, it totally depends on the pitch. The pitches have been playing a part in this tournament. According to the pitch stats, we are picking a good side, especially bowling against India, we need to take more wickets upfront. That opens the game for us. That’s a key area in the game,” he added.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumraj, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Washington Sundar (cover for injured Axar Patel).
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Pathum Nissanaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis (vc), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushan Hemantha, Binura Fernando, Pramod Madushan.
Match starts at 3 PM IST.