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Picking Early Wickets Key Against India, Says Sri Lanka Captain Dasun Shanaka Before Asia Cup 2023 Final

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Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have been in brilliant form in Asia Cup 2023.

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India and Sri Lanka will be facing each other for the 21st time in Asia Cup. (Image: Twitter)

Colombo: Picking up wickets will be key against India in the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium, according to Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka. It will be Sri Lanka’s second consecutive Asia Cup final, having won the tournament last year (T20 format). Interestingly, India defeated Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage to qualify for the summit clash.

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have been in blazing form in the tournament so far with 194 and 275 runs respectively. While Rohit has hit three fifties so far in the competition, Gill is coming after a brilliant hundred in a losing cause against Bangladesh.

“Bowling against India, we need to take more wickets upfront, and that will open up the game for us,” Shanaka said during the pre-match press conference on Saturday. The hosts will be looking up to Matheesha Pathirana and Dunith Wellalage, who have shared 21 wickets between them so far. Certainly, India have a tough task at hand in the final.

However, Sri Lanka will be missing the services of Maheesh Theekshana, who was ruled out of the final due to a hamstring injury he sustained against Pakistan. Asked about the playing XI, Shanaka said it totally depends on the pitch.

“Of course we are ready. Totally depends on the pitch (on the selection about playing Xi). The pitches have been playing a big part in the tournament, so we have picked up sides accordingly,” added the all-rounder.

Coming into the tournament without four of their most experienced players including Wanindu Hasaranga, nobody gave Sri Lanka a chance. But the Lankan players took it upon themselves and showed they are no pushovers.

Shanaka said they are peaking at the right time. “We are peaking at the right time. The boys want to deliver for the country. We have been the underdogs and everybody wants us to perform in the big tournaments. The young boys are trying to prove themselves,” he said.


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