Team India registered a resounding victory over Sri Lanka in the final of the 2023 Asia Cup, bowling the side out for just 50 before chasing the target without breaking a sweat. Choosing to bat, Sri Lanka’s innings crumbled as Mohammed Siraj ran through their battng order, picking six wickets for just 21 runs in seven overs. Five batters posted ducks on their dismal scorecard, with Siraj’s fiery exhibition of fast bowling most evident in his second over when the right-arm paceman dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Hardik Pandya secured three wickets, while Jasprit Bumrah clinched one as Sri Lanka recorded their second lowest total in one-day internationals, facing only 92 balls. India, in response, chased down the target in just 6.1 overs, providing a timely confidence boost ahead of the upcoming World Cup on home soil next month.
Bumrah had removed Kusal Perera in the first over to trigger a collapse; the Indian pacer has made an impressive return in the fifty-over format after over a year, playing a key role in the side’s wins over Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the group stage as well. The right-arm speedster had made his international return last month as Indian captain in the series against Ireland, and hs comeback gave the side a massive boost as it chases a third World Cup title later this year.
However, even as Bumrah did make a successful return, former Pakistan speedster and bowling legend Wasim Akram had a word of caution for the India star. Akram advised Bumrah to work on his shoulder strength, as he as just returned from injury. Additionally, Akram also had a word of advice to team management over its handling of Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli.
“Out of the three games (against Australia), Bumrah should play at least two as he is coming out of injury. His rhythm is looking good, he’s looking incredible but his muscles can get stronger. Suryakumar Yadav is struggling in ODIs recently, he can play all those five games (Australia series and two warm-ups). Sometimes, Virat can rest as well because it is a long World Cup. They have to play 9 games,” Akram said on Star Sports following India’s win over Sri Lanka.
Australia series starts September 22
India’s ODI series against Australia will see the side playing in three ODIs before meeting England and Netherlands in the warm-up matches for the World Cup.
The side’s campaign in the tournament proper, coincidentally, is also against Australia on October 8.