Asia Cup Finals 2023: Can Sri Lanka successfully defend their trophy?

In the grand finale of the Asia Cup, it’s Sri Lanka standing tall as the defending champions. They have a remarkable history with this tournament, featuring in 12 out of 16 finals, showcasing their love for the event. A sublime flick by Charith Asalanka off the final ball against a top-ranked Pakistani side secured their spot in the final.

Sri Lanka fields a youthful team brimming with self-assured players reaching for the stars, and they possess the potential to reach those celestial heights. Even with some regulars missing, talents like Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Dunith Wellalage have stepped up and demanded global attention.


Perhaps their greatest strength lies in their devoted home crowd. These passionate fans stayed on until the early hours of Thursday, celebrating their team’s triumph, even if it meant missing the last buses and trains home.

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

Captain’s Take:

Rohit Sharma (India Captain):

We’d have batted first too, looks like a dry pitch. We’re confident of chasing down whatever Sri Lanka puts on the board. This is an opportunity to go aggressive with the ball and assess the surface. We came close last game; anything around 240 on this surface is good. Our job today is to perform well with the ball and then assess our batting. The crowd has been brilliant, with strong support for both teams, perhaps a bit more for Sri Lanka. Hopefully, they witness a thrilling final. Everyone’s back after the rest in the last game; Axar is injured, so Washington Sundar replaces him.

Dasun Shanaka (Sri Lanka Captain):

We’ll bat first. The pitch seems favorable with some afternoon turn expected. This time, we’re fortunate to have enthusiastic crowds. I’m delighted with the youngsters – Wellalage, Pathirana, Samarawickrama. We have a strong team with good results; this is a great boost for the World Cup. One change for us – Theekshana is out, and Dushan Hemantha steps in.

Pitch Report | Sanjay Manjrekar and Dominic Cork (Cricbuzz):

In the final showdown, we have a fresh pitch, typical of Colombo. These pitches have generally favored spinners. It’s a dry surface with 70-meter boundaries in all directions. As a captain, you’d prefer batting first and hoping for some evening turn.