Batters will play a major role in deciding the match- Shanaka

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Sri Lanka white ball skipper Dasun Shanaka believes batters will play a major role in the Asia Cup which runs from 27 August-11 September in UAE. “Batters will mostly decide the results of the matches, because if the batters find their natural rhythm and play positive cricket, I think it will be a major boost for us”, said Dasun prior to taking wing to Dubai. “We also got a world class bowling attack, although speedster Dushmantha Chameera is out due to an injury, we have the likes of Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Asitha Fernando and Dilshan Madushanka to name a few”, he further added.  

Sri Lanka have always been one of those sides which no other team has enjoyed playing against in the Asia Cup history so far. The team has majorly managed to deliver topnotch performances during the tournament and win matches against all the odds.  With 5 titles to its name, Sri Lanka is the second most successful team in the tournament’s history only behind India. The team has displayed some tremendously fearless approaches in the shortest format of the game recently and possesses some world-class players who can definitely make things happen for their side. 

Commenting on the first two fixtures against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Dasun went onto say: “Actually, both matches are tough ones. We know how good Afghanistan is in this format, but I think our team performances are at a high standard and I believe the boys will put up a good show”. Dasun also hinted on the opening pair with the likes of Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilake the three options.

“We got three options to open the batting and are still discussing it. We know how well Pathum Nissanka played during the recent series, and Kusal Mendis and also Danushka. One batter will however have to play down the order, and they are flexible to play at any position”.  Replying to a query on the preparation ahead of the big picture the skipper went onto say:    “International matches are always challenging. We have prepared well ahead of the Asia Cup. We played a provincial tournament recently and I think our players are ready to face the challenge”.

Sri Lanka will take on Afghanistan on their first outing on 27 August and Bangladesh on 1 September, and winning both group stage matches will put them into the Super 4. Matches will be played across two venues – Dubai International Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka, but shifted to the UAE due to political turmoil and the economic crisis in the cricket-crazy island nation. However, Sri Lanka will continue to act as the host of the tournament.

Squad:

Dasun Shanaka (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Ashen Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwanidu Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Dinesh Chandimal