Sri Lanka will be looking to defend their title when they clash against favourites India in the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday, September 17. Ahead of the summit clash, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka played out the importance of the pitch at Colombo's R Premadasa Stadium and revealed his team's strength during the pre-match press conference.
The Island nation suffered a narrow 41-run defeat on the DLS method against India in the Super 4 clash but pulled off a last-ball thriller against Bangladesh while chasing 252 runs in their last game. Apart from a defeat to India, Sri Lanka has been very impressive throughout the tournament despite their struggles with injuries to key players.
But Shanaka seemed happy with the team's chances against India in the final and is looking to read into playing conditions. When asked about the importance of taking wickets against India, Shanaka stated that the pitch has been helpful for the bowlers and they are looking to field a strong bowling unit in the final.
"See, it totally depends on the pitch," Shanaka said. "So the pitches have played a part in this tournament. So according to the pitch stats, we are picking a good side and, you know, especially bowling against India. And so we need to take more wickets upfront so that that opens up the game for us. So I think that's a key area in the game
"The boys deliberately want to deliver for the country. So, as a team, you know, we've been underdogs so everyone wanted to perform on the biggest stage. And these youngsters, need to show the world what they are capable of. I think that's the secret of these young people."
Shanaka also pointed out a tough challenge from India despite the latter's defeat against Bangladesh in the last Super 4 round game. He added that the wicket at R Premadasa played a big part in India's defeat and said that it came as no surprise to him.
"They changed the whole team. I mean, the best players, they rested. So I'm not surprised it can happen to any team. Right. So India I know that they are the best, but still Bangladesh team, did their part in this regard. So as I mentioned before, the wicket played a part. We know how good India is when it comes to good tracks. So yeah, it's not surprising, but you know, it can be happening in world cricket," Shanaka added.
Sri Lanka squad for Asia Cup 2023 final vs India: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana, Sahan Arachchige, Dushan Hemantha, Kasun Rajitha, Binura Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana (ruled out due to injury)