Asia Cup: Hemantha, Washington come in as Sri Lanka win toss, elect to bat first against India in final

by IANS |

Colombo, Sep 17 (IANS) Dushan Hemantha and Washington Sundar have been included as Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the 2023 Asia Cup final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.

Hemantha, the leg-spinner, replaces injured off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana in Sri Lanka’s playing eleven, with pacer Kasun Rajitha also being back. "Seems like a good wicket, there will be some turn in the afternoon. Last year, we weren't able to get these crowds but this time we are really fortunate."

"I'm very pleased with the youngsters - Wellalage, Pathirana, Samarawickrama. It is a good team and the results are there, this is a good boost for the WC,” said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka, amidst loud cheers from the sell-out crowd on winning the toss.

On the other hand, off-spin all-rounder Washington, playing in an ODI after playing one against New Zealand earlier this year, comes into India’s playing eleven, apart from the first-choice players, due to left-arm spin all-rounder Axar Patel sustaining quadriceps strain during Super Four match against Bangladesh on Friday.

India skipper Rohit Sharma said he would have batted first too, as the pitch looks dry and expressed confidence in chasing down whatever Sri Lanka put on the board. "This is a good chance to go aggressive with the ball and see what the surface has to offer. We came really close last game, anything about 240 on this surface is good."

"Our job today is to do well with the ball, and then see what we can do with the bat. The crowd have been brilliant, good support for both teams but probably a bit more for Sri Lanka. Hopefully, they get to witness a good final."

India has won Asia Cup seven times - in 1984, 1988, 1990–91, 1995, 2010, 2016 (T20I edition), and 2018. On the other hand, Sri Lanka has won the Asia Cup in 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014, and 2022 (T20I edition).

The tournament organisers added that giant screens have been established at the Galle Face Green and P. D. Sirisena Ground for fans who were unable to get tickets for the final to witness the match.

Playing XIs

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wicketkeeper), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (captain), Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha, Pramod Madushan and Matheesha Pathirana

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