Clouds clear off as Colombo gears up for Asia Cup final 2023 between India vs Sri Lanka


Rohit Sharma-led India will be looking to end their mult-nation tournament drought by winning the Asia Cup title when they will lock horns against Sri Lanka. Apart from winning the Champions Trophy in 2013, they have faltered in multi-nation tournaments under Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma with the Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup in 2018 being the lone exceptions.

Since winning the Asia Cup in 2018, India’s inability to master crunch matches and occasions has been startling. India reached semifinals of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the T20 World Cup in 2022, besides losing against New Zealand and Australia in the WTC finals in 2019 and 2023 respectively. The Indian team also failed to make their presence felt in last year’s Asia Cup, which was won by Sri Lanka. That event was played in T20 format.

A victory in Colombo in the Asia Cup will boost their confidence ahead of the quadrennial big bash next month, as they also seek to end a 10-year-long ICC trophy drought.

The Indian team is set to welcome back key players such as Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Kuldeep Yadav, who were rested for the match against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka earned their spot in the final by defeating Pakistan by a narrow margin of two wickets during the Super Four stage, setting the stage for a highly anticipated showdown against India. In Sunday’s final, Sri Lanka will be aiming to match India’s remarkable record of seven Asia Cup final, marking their second consecutive final appearance and their 11th overall.

Maheesh Theekshana will miss the match due to a hamstring injury, potentially paving the way for leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha to step in.

India and Sri Lanka hold the record for the most One Day International (ODI) encounters between any two teams, having clashed in 166 matches. Out of these, India have emerged victorious in 97 while Sri Lanka have secured 57 wins. Also, 11 matches concluded with “no result”, and one ended in a tie.

The R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo is renowned for its batting-friendly pitches. Teams setting the target have enjoyed more favourable results than those who chase. As the game unfolds, it tends to provide assistance to spinners. However, the main concern is rain, which has disrupted multiple matches in the tournament this year.