In the climactic encounter of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka stands as the reigning champions, prepared to defend their coveted title. Their impressive track record in this tournament includes appearances in 12 out of 16 finals, a testament to their deep-rooted affection for this competition. A magnificent last-ball stroke by Charith Asalanka against a formidable Pakistani outfit secured their berth in the final.
Sri Lanka boasts a youthful and self-assured squad, aiming for the highest echelons of success, with the potential to attain such lofty ambitions. Even in the absence of some key players, talents like Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Dunith Wellalage have risen to prominence, capturing global attention.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and have opted to bat
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul(w), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana
Rohit Sharma (India Captain): We would have chosen to bat first as well; it appears to be a dry pitch. We are confident in our ability to chase down any target Sri Lanka sets. This presents an opportunity to adopt an aggressive approach with the ball and evaluate the pitch’s behavior. In the previous game, we came close; anything around 240 on this surface is deemed competitive. Our focus today is to excel with the ball and then assess our batting performance. The crowd has been exceptional, showing strong support for both teams, with perhaps a slight edge for Sri Lanka. We hope they witness an exhilarating final. Everyone is back after the rest in the last game, except for Axar, who is injured, and Washington Sundar is his replacement.
Dasun Shanaka (Sri Lanka Captain): We have opted to bat first. The pitch appears to be favorable, with some expected turn during the afternoon. This time, we are fortunate to have enthusiastic crowds supporting us. I am delighted with the performance of our young talents – Wellalage, Pathirana, and Samarawickrama. Our team is strong, and we have achieved commendable results, providing a significant boost for the upcoming World Cup. We have made one change – Theekshana is out, and Dushan Hemantha takes his place.
Pitch Report | Sanjay Manjrekar and Dominic Cork: In this final showdown, we have a fresh pitch, typical of Colombo. Historically, these pitches have favored spin bowlers. The surface is dry, and all boundaries measure 70 meters, regardless of the direction. As a captain, opting to bat first and hoping for some evening turn would likely be the preferred strategy.