Posted 1 years ago

Cricket Asia Cup

The players behind Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup success

The players behind Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup success
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While WaninduHasaranga, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have been at the forefront of Sri Lankas’s impressive performance at the Asia Cup, there are other gifted players in the team, who have also contributed to its stunning victory at the Asia Cup 2022:


DasunShanaka: When Shanaka was initially appointed as captain of the team, the decision was met with doubt. But the reluctant captain had to accept the post, with no other candidate available to lead the team, as KusalPerera and KusalMendis were banned for breaching Covid-19 protocol, Rajapaksa was not considered on account of his public statements against the board and selectors, and Hasaranga refusal to take on the role.The subsequent journey has not been easy for Shanaka either, with economic crises in the country, disagreements with the coach and 10 losses out of 14 matches prior to the Asia Cup. Through it all, he has maintained his calm, and inspired confidence in his team. With suitable changes and moves, such as the inclusion of Dhananjay de Silva in the team, to allowing Pramod Madhushan to debut at the match against Pakistan, Shanaka has always stood by his players, even when they underperformed.


Dilshan Madushanka:The fast bowler has made steady rise from domestic to international cricket, unlike many of his recent predecessors. With both pace and aggression, he has dismissed both Kohli and Babar Azam, and has impressed Wasim Akram. With humble beginnings, Madhushanka hails from a fishing village and had only played with a soft ball uptil the age of 17, barefoot.Unable to afford required equipment, he had come close to quitting cricket, before deciding to turn up at the under-19 trials in a borrowed kit. He was selected the very next day, by none other than Chaminda Vaas and has since then never looked back.


Pramod Madushan: The medium pace bowler has had a tedious journey so far, with only 31 matches played in the seven years since his first-class debut. He had also contemplated exiting the sport but was dissuaded from doing so by friends.Since then, he worked on both his pace and speed and was drafted by the T20 team Galle Gladiators, and subsequently included into the national team. Shanaka’s decision to play him in the final was a decision that was crucial to Sri Lanka’s win, after he dismissed 4 players including Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman.


Pathum Nissanka and KusalMendis:While both players had made a mark prior to the Asian Cup, there was more work to be done for the duo. Mendis has had his consistency and form often called into question, and battled injuries, while Nissanka had failed to impress in the T20 format with a low strike rate of 115 in 29 games.However, they have fulfilled crucial roles in the Asia Cup win, with Nissanka providing steady runs, including two 50s against India and Pakistan at the Super 4 stage, and a 35 against Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Mendis has provided fast starts, with the highest run-rate of 156.56, in the tournament.

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