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Asia Cup: India to take on Sri Lanka in final at R Premdasa stadium in Colombo

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In Cricket, India will take on Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup on Sunday at R Premdasa Stadium in Colombo. The match will begin at 3 PM Indian Standard Time.
The Indian Squad will be led by Rohit Sharma. If India win the Asia Cup title, they will not just become the World No one in ODI cricket but also become the No one across all formats. Indian win will also set the high tone for the ICC ODI World Cup scheduled to be played from the 5th of next month at home grounds.

On the other side, Sri Lanka, led by Dasun Shanaka, are the defending champions and will have the support of the home crowd in the summit clash.

In the Indian Squad, Washington Sundar has been called up as a cover for the injured Axar Patel. All-rounder Axar Patel sustained several injuries during India’s six-run loss to Bangladesh in their last Super Four match on Friday. 

On the other hand, in a massive blow to Sri Lanka, star spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been ruled out of the match against India due to a hamstring injury. The hosts have replaced him with off-spinner and all-rounder Sahan Arachchige. 

Following commanding victories against Nepal and Pakistan, India had to play two close contests – resulting in a victory and a loss each – en route to the 2023 Asia Cup final. Much like how Sri Lanka saw their passage to the summit clash of a tournament that has already been played under the shadows of a much bigger goal, the upcoming World Cup. Not that the Sunday encounter will be used as a glorified practice game, but the sheen of it is unlikely to be carried for too long.

There are certainly bigger areas of concerns for both teams to contend with, but not one that should leave them entirely dismayed. Has India found its best combination? Are Sri Lanka aware of its best pace pack and opening duo? One man down each – Axar Patel and Maheesh Theekshana – ruled out with their respective injuries, there is an opportunity for the finalists to go deeper in search of strong alternatives and back-ups.

If the last few games of the ongoing Asian championship offered anything apart from nail-biting contests, it was answers to a few questions.

Is batting depth overrated in ODIs? Is there really a need to compromise on the quality of bowling to fit in players with better batting reputations at Nos. 8 and 9?

While Dunith Wellalage and Maheesh Theekshana played their part for Sri Lanka much like Bangladesh and Pakistan’s lower order, the answer most notably came from India’s Axar Patel.

A 36-ball 26 against Sri Lanka in a low-scorer and a 34-ball 42 in a challenging run-chase against Bangladesh. The results of the contests notwithstanding, despite underwhelming returns with the ball, Axar managed to make strong contributions to the team’s cause.

Axar may be absent for the Asia Cup final, but it has allowed India to further their already lengthy experimentation of finding the perfect combination. Added to the list, as a replacement, now is Washington Sundar. With Hardik Pandya offering strong support in the pace department, can India afford to go with three spinners in order to strengthen that lower order?

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul(w), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Washington Sundar, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma

Sri Lanka Squad: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana, Sahan Arachchige, Dushan Hemantha, Kasun Rajitha, Binura Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne.


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