Once Sri Lanka conquered Asia, all focus turned towards them heading into the T20 World Cup in Australia. Could they achieve the impossible again, going past legendary sides? The answer was no but Sri Lanka’s attitude in the Asia Cup was such that all it seemed quite plausible. But the talent pool that they possess have a real chance of upsetting India in India.
Sri Lankan skipper and one of their vital cogs, Dasun Shanaka insisted that the upcoming three-match white-ball series against India will be very important for the Islanders. With the 2023 ODI World Cup set to be played in India, Sri Lanka have a unique opportunity of testing themselves in the adverse conditions.
“With the World Cup scheduled in India this year, the T20 and ODI series are very important because most of the guys in the side have not played in India. Definitely, this will give us exposure in a lot of grounds and conditions and playing against India will be good preparation for the World Cup,” said Shanaka.
"We didn't have a good World Cup, so we would look to step up and do well in this series. Many of our superstars didn't do well in Australia. But when it comes to Asia, we know the conditions and pitches well. It's important to start well,” he added.
However, it would be important for Sri Lanka to kick-off the series on a strong note, considering India’s strength.
“The first game is really important. India have totally changed their lineup. We also got some experience in our camp. We are looking forward to the first game, we must do well in the first game which sets the tone for the other games,” Shanaka added.
Shanaka was also quick in applauding the hosts – India – who he calls as a very tough team to beat at home.
“India is always a better side, what we need to do is to play good cricket against India. It's always tough against India in India. But we have a good team, looking forward to a good series,” Shanaka added.
It was widely expected that there would be suitors for the Sri Lankan all-rounder Shanaka at the 2023 IPL Auction. However, to his dismay, none of the franchises opted to pick the all-rounder. Shanaka though insisted that he is looking forward to the controllable – his performance – and not things out of his hand – the IPL auction.
“It's not in my hands. I was really keen to get into an IPL side. But it happens in life, opportunities come and go. I'm not worried. What I can control is my own performance, so I'm looking forward to doing well in this series and staying consistent in International cricket,” said Shanaka.