The final match of the 2023 Asia Cup Rohit Sharma will lead Team India, while Dasun Shanaka will captain the Sri Lankan team.
In the ODI format of the Asia Cup, India and Sri Lanka have played 20 matches, with both teams securing 10 victories each. Team India has clinched the Asia Cup title 7 times, including 5 final wins against Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka has emerged victorious in the finals thrice. India is considered a strong contender to win this final and end a five-year drought in multi-nation tournaments, with their last triumph occurring in the 2018 Asia Cup final against Bangladesh.
However, India has faced a setback before the final match as spin all-rounder Akshar Patel is unavailable due to injury, with Washington Sundar taking his place. Sri Lanka will also miss their key spinner Mahish Tikshina due to a hamstring injury.
The playing XI for the Indian team is set to see significant changes, with five main players, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj, and Kuldeep Yadav, returning for the final match. Consequently, players like Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav, and Tilak Verma are likely to be excluded from the playing XI.
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The return of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya is expected to bolster India’s batting, which struggled against Bangladesh’s spinners. While opener Shubman Gill shone with a century, other batsmen struggled to rotate the strike during the middle overs, leaving the lower order with a daunting target.
In their previous match, India secured four wickets with Bangladesh at 59 runs, but the bowlers conceded many runs in the final overs, allowing the opposition to reach a competitive total of 265 runs. Ahead of the World Cup, India will play four more ODIs, including the Asia Cup final and three matches against Australia, offering an opportunity to assess their preparedness across all departments.
A victory in the Asia Cup final would significantly boost the team’s morale before the upcoming World Cup, as India seeks to break a 10-year ICC trophy drought. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team is brimming with confidence, setting the stage for an exciting clash.