Asia Cup 2023 Final | Sri Lanka Predicted XI vs India

image-lmkczqb3Sri Lanka will play India in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 (Source: AP Photos)

After a fortnight's time we're heading to the boxoffice event of the 2023 Asia Cup where India will be taking on Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on September 17  i.e. Sunday, slated to begin at 3:00 PM IST, Local Time.

India were the first team to get qualified for the final of the coveted Championship after defeating Pakistan and Sri Lanka on back-to-back days. They reached the Super Four stages after steamrolling Nepal by 10 wickets in a must-win game as their first game against arch-rivals, Pakistan was a stalemate. Rohit Sharma and his men have a final Super Four game against Bangladesh where few of the first-choice players are likely to be rested.

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On the other hand, Sri Lanka have been one of the most exciting sides in the tournament. This is the 12th time they made into the Final of Asia Cup and reached the main event after a narrow escape against Pakistan in a do-or-die assignment. It was Charith Asalanka's calmness that helped them seal a final ball victory in a dls revised run chase of 252 runs. Earlier, they've beaten every other side that stood in their path barring India. The Chris Silverwood-coached unit have one last opportunity to claim a victory against the Asian Giants and we shall have a look how the predicted XI may sound like for this all-important fixture.

Openers: Kusal Perera and Pathum Nissanka 

Sri Lanka are likely to go with their opening combination that was placed against Pakistan. Kusal Perera's attacking nature suits batting in the first powerplay and they would look to capitalize on it. Pathum Nissanka, on the other hand, hasn't been in great form in the ongoing Asia Cup but he has been Sri Lanka's most consistent batter in the past couple of years. Henceforth this is going to be the pair for the Final.

Middle Order: Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka

The middle order is the strength of this Sri Lankan side. The trio of Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka have forged a wall that is not easy to break. Mendis have scored two nineties in the ongoing tournament and the latest one came against Pakistan in a must-win clash. Astonishingly, both the big scores came in a must-win game, with the previous one being aginst Afghanistan in the group stages.

Samarawickrama has been influential in reviving the side from early hiccups every now and then while Asalanka has been a calm headed batter in pressure situations who managed to steer the side past the finishing line on various occasions.

All-rounders: Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage

The Lankan Lions are captained by Dasun Shanaka and he is likely to be the nucleus of the cell. Dhananjaya and Wellalage have been influential with their impact with both bat and ball in the tournament. The former has regulated the innings in the middle overs whereas the latter has snapped match-impacting performances in the last couple of matches with the ball.

Bowlers: Dushan Hemantha, Matheesha Pathirana and Pramod Madushan

Pramodh Madushan was impressive with the new ball in the last game against Pakistan, getting the better of Fakhar Zaman and therefore is likely to team up with Matheesha Pathirana in the pace attack. He also has a good control on the mix-ups in the slog overs.

Coming to a very crucial point, Sri Lanka withstood a big blow after Maheesh Theekshana suffered a right hamstring strain while fielding in the last game. He is likely to be assessed on September 15 and then a decision will be taken. In his absence, Sri Lanka possessess just one spinner in the form of Dushan Hemantha. The wrist spinner can be a handy batter down the order who has featured in just two ODIs and pocketed as many wickets so far. But can he fill the void of Theekshana in the XI?  Can he bowl with the new ball alongside a pacer? That's the big question. Certainly, the Lankan management have to scratch their head do come to a common point. 

Sri Lanka Predicted XI vs India

Kusal Perera
Pathum Nissanka
Kusal Mendis (wk)
Sadeera Samarawickrama
Charith Asalanka
Dasun Shanaka (c)
Dashun Shanaka
Dunith Wellalage
Dushan Hemantha
Matheesha Pathirana
Pramod Madushan