Sri Lanka has reached the Asia Cup 2023 final after dramatically knocking out Pakistan on Thursday night. In the exciting final, Sri Lanka will compete against India on Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 3:30 pm. The IND vs SL match will be held at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Preview of IND vs SL Asia Cup 2023 Final Match
India secured their spot in the top two by winning a thrilling match against Sri Lanka in the Super Fours. This victory also ended Bangladesh’s hopes of reaching the Asia Cup Final 2023. The defending champions, Sri Lanka, managed to defeat Pakistan in a rain-affected Super Fours game, earning their place in the final as well.
However, India’s loss to Bangladesh in the last match of the Super Four Round might reduce their confidence a bit. But, some of the game changers of India, such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kuldeep Yadav, were on rest to give their best in the final. So, India will surely come back stronger with the top players.
In the last match of the Super Four Round, India won the toss and sent Bangladesh to bat first. Bangladesh set a target of 266 runs for India. Chasing a target of 266 runs, India were bowled out for 259 runs with 1 ball to spare. They needed 12 runs in the last over with 1 wicket in hand. But they could not reach the target. Bangladesh beat India by 6 runs on Friday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, secured the final by beating Pakistan in their last Super Four Round match. Sri Lanka won the breathtaking ODI match in the last ball. Because of rain, the game was shortened to 42 overs. Pakistan batted first and managed to score 252 runs while losing 7 wickets. In reply, Sri Lanka reached victory by losing 8 wickets.
Now, the defending champions and India are waiting for Sunday’s final. So far in this tournament, India lost one match, and that was against Bangladesh. On the other hand, Sri Lanka lost one match against India in the Super Four. It is expected that both teams will join the final with their best players, as there is no injury report.
Predicted XI for India
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Predicted XI for Sri Lanka
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, and Matheesha Pathirana.
India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup Final Head to Head
This is not the first time that India and Sri Lanka are meeting in the Asia Cup Final. Previously, they met 7 times in the final in 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2010. Among these seven appearances, India won four times in 1988, 1990-91, 1995, and 2010. Sri Lanka won three times in 1997, 2004 and 2008.
India vs Sri Lanka Overall ODI Head to Head
In ODI cricket, India and Sri Lanka have played against each other 166 times. Out of these 166 matches, India has won 97 times, while Sri Lanka has won 57 times. There were 11 matches that didn’t have a clear result, and 1 match ended in a tie.
Key Indian Players to Watch in Asia Cup Final 2023
Shubman Gill has been consistent throughout this Asia Cup and finally got his desired century against Bangladesh. He scored 121 runs from 133 balls in a critical situation for India. This week, Indian opener Shubman Gill has moved up two spots to reach the second position in the ICC Men’s ODI rankings for batters. He earned this recognition for his outstanding batting performance during the Asia Cup 2023. Shubman scored 275 runs in five innings with an impressive average of 68.75. This includes two half-centuries and one century in his name. So, India will greatly depend on his batting knock in the Final.
Rahul made a comeback to the Indian team after being sidelined for almost three months due to multiple injuries. After his return, he scored a century in his first appearance in the Asia Cup against Pakistan in Super Four. After that, Rahul scored 39 runs against Sri Lanka and 19 runs against Bangladesh. It seems the long absence from the field did not hamper his performance, and he came back stronger. So, we may see a better performance this time against Sri Lanka.
Kuldeep was the top bowler against Sri Lanka in the last match. He took four wickets with a 4.52 economy rate. Seemingly, his bowl worked better at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, as he also took five wickets at the same venue against Pakistan. Since the final will be at the same venue, we may see another brilliant performance from Kuldeep.
Read more: ICC World Cup 2023: India ODI Squad Analysis
Key Sri Lankan Players to Watch in Asia Cup Final 2023
Kusal has scored 253 runs from five innings in this Asia Cup and has two centuries and a half century. However, Kusal scored 15 runs against India in the Super Four round match. So, this time, Kusal should be looking to put his best in the final. Moreover, he is also incredible in wicketkeeping, as he took 8 catches.
Sadeera Samarwickrama is currently the third highest run-scorer in the tournament, with a total of 215 runs in five innings. However, in the match against India, he only scored 17 runs. So, Sadeera is surely looking for a great knock in the final. Overall, Sadeera has played in 22 matches and has scored a total of 615 runs. His highest score is 93, which came against Bangladesh in this Asia Cup. He has an impressive strike rate of 90.57 in this tournament.
This 20 year old wonder is the top wicket taker in this Asia Cup. So far, he took 11 wickets. He got at least one wicket in each match of the tournament except against India. In his appearance against India, Matheesha bowled 4 overs with a 7.75 econ rate, which resembles an average performance from him. He might be looking for a better performance in the final and remain the top wicket takers.
India seems to have an advantage over Sri Lanka on paper because they have a stronger team with better players. However, India should not underestimate Sri Lanka as in the previous encounter in the Super Four stage of the tournament, India were very close to losing against the Lankans. While both teams are strong contenders, India still has a better chance to win the IND vs SL Asia Cup Final 2023.