The factors that sealed the deal for Sri Lanka in Asia Cup | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

The factors that sealed the deal for Sri Lanka in Asia Cup

23 October, 2022

Sri Lanka’s recent triumph in the Asia Cup 2022 came as a surprise to most of the cricketing world due to the fact that they were reckoned as an underdog to challenge for the title. But in the end, blowing all the odds away the Lions roared and won the 6thCup title in their history. Now let’s have a look around what were the factors that took Sri Lankans all the way to the top in Asia Cup 2022.

Was it luck that influenced Sri Lanka to win the title, It’s kind of a little argumentative statement but there was some glimpse of luck throughout the tournament for the Lankans where the luck of toss was with them for the most part of the tournament which maybe helped them to take advantage of the given conditions and also some tactical and technical misconducts and mistakes from rivals and some umpire decisions and late surprising cameos from down order came handy with some luck for Sri Lanka throughout the tournament.

Did Subcontinent pitches help Sri Lanka to perform well throughout the tournament? The answer is Yes, even though Sharjah is not a traditional cranky subcontinental and still delivers most of the subcontinental variables that it has to offer. The fact that all the teams were homegrown for subcontinental environments as same as Sri Lanka can’t be left behind though but it can said throughout the tournament, Sri Lanka made the most out of the conditions to clinch the title. Sri Lankan spinners especially Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana used the dry conditions well with their variations and consistency where they were able to generate more turn when the tournament progressed because the pitches gained more cracks and it became more complex due to the fact that the tournament was played on the same pitches used regularly and those cracks and openings in those pitches helped spinners a lot. For pace bowlers, Sahajah offered a great amount of pace but not the amount of bounce that they will be dear about. Also, the fact that the ground was comparably small pace was not a great option in front of quality line ups but Sri Lankan pacers were very disciplined throughout the tournament with their lines and lengths and their use of variations while not giving any freebies by sticking into the plan and that was another factor for Sri Lanka to find success in Sharjah.

Bowling was another highlight of the performance Sri Lanka displayed in the tournament where they managed to control the run rate and to take wickets at regular intervals as well. Without their senior and experienced camper Dushmantha Chameeera not available at their fast-bowling disposal it was on the young guns to control the game in the first few overs and in the final few overs and we can say that they did a tremendous job in an ideal condition for batters but not much for pacies. Dilshan Madushanka and Chamika Karunaratne especially the latter one in the death overs did a splendid job from the start of the tournament by keeping batsmen at bay for most parts of the games and picking up wickets in regular intervals. Pramod Madushan came into action in the later part of the tournament to show his class. Spinners were the main caretakers of the middle overs for the Sri Lankans where they were able to manage the run rate and pick wickets when needed. Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana were the ones who did the magic for Sri Lanka and then they got a bit of a helping hand from Dhananjaya de Silva as the tournament progressed.

Another highlight from the Sri Lankan perspective throughout the tournament was their fielding capabilities which stood out from the rest of the teams and it really did matter in the end to their victory. Sri Lankan fielders who were deployed inside the 30-yard circle were crucial to stopping a lot of runs, especially in the power-play where they were able to stop several certain boundaries and were useful outside of power-play as well. Outfield players were really energetic and were committed and focused on their business where they stopped many boundaries and cut off maximum runs as possible even if it was not possible to stop they put their bodies on the line until the last moment to express their commitment towards the team. When we look at the catches as they say catches win the matches, Sri Lanka did it extremely well where they almost caught everything that came their way. Inside fielders were so quick and athletic where they flew to grab some excellent and well judge catches as well made some half chances into wickets. Outfield catching was safe like a fortress where they took a greater percentage of catches in every corner of the ground with great aerobatic skills as well as good focused catching techniques.

As per the common belief any game with two good quality teams playing each other is decided by the toss itself and that was almost proved in every game in the Asia Cup 2022 where the team who wins the toss is always favored to bat second and almost in all the occasions the team chasing a total came victories. Sri Lanka had a great run of luck with the toss where captain Dasun Shanka won the coin toss for his team on four occasions and all the time he chose to chase a total and won every game they did so. But in the final fortune of the toss went against Sri Lanka where Pakistan won it and chose to field first. Many taught that it was the game decider and gave a greater winning probability for Pakistan due to their toss advantage but in the end, Sri Lanka made this belief or saying or luck false by trashing Pakistan in the final and coming victories while defending a score after losing the toss so we can see the toss was not the matter. For the Sri Lankans it was their capabilities in the game and they came on top in the Asia Cup 2022.

The modern T 20 game has revolutionized into a hard-hitting power game rather than a technical game. People do really enjoy watching a display of power hitting from any T20 side that they are rooting for and that became the main attraction that many people are attracted towards the shortest format of the game. These hard-hitting displays by any team bring great odds to the table for them to pave the way to earn a victory and because of all these, it has become an important aspect to decide a T20 game. In the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka found their firepower during the whole course of the tournament where some tremendous power-hitting performances were displayed by Sri Lankans carving the way for them to go all the way in it. Captain Dasun Shanaka, Bhanuka Rajapakse and Chamika Karunaratne were the players that provided these power-hitting abilities to the Sri Lankan line up and they stood and delivered throughout the course of the tournament when it mattered the most to achieve victory for their team in the end.

Another factor that helped the cause of winning the Asia Cup for Sri Lanka was the great and courageous captaincy of their captain Dasun Shanaka. A true leader. A good leader Shanka led the team from the front and absorbed all the pressure and heat when it was necessary and paved the way for his team to perform well with confidence and belief. His tactical planning and execution as well as keeping the team together as a unit and helping them to be calm and focused on their task along with backing up his players on and off the field were decisive for Sri Lanka to go that far and become victorious.

Team bonding of Sri Lanka players in and out of the dressing room and on the ground throughout the Asia Cup 2022 was one of the most vital strengths Sri Lanka had in their armory to fight for the Asian title. After the drama that they had with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka came on top with great team bonding which elaborated team spirit and unity as one whole family rather than a unit which became decisive for them to carry out that great momentum and morale within the team throughout the tournament which became the winning rhythm in the end.

The approach Sri Lanka had for the tournament was right on top where they took the great challenge in front of them by breaking it into a game-by-game approach. This did a world of good for Sri Lankan players to focus well and to be ready for each game much better this was carried forward with good team tactics that were used in each game. Well-analyzed and forecast bowling and fielding mapping and strategy implications were key to controlling the game from Sri Lanka’s end whenever they were on the field. Batting-wise all players knew their role in every situation and what was required from them to deliver and they were up to the task on almost every occasion. Head coach Chris Silverwood is a master of the art of tactics and knew how to keep them simple as possible while Dasun Shanaka had the potential as a captain to recruit those tactics on the field smartly.

One of the most vital aspects that came on to play for Sri Lanka in winning the Asia Cup was their well-balanced team. Two world-class spinners one being a leggie that had accuracy and variations and the other being an ‘offie’ who was disciplined with his lines and lengths while attacking the wicket to strengthen the spinning department. From a fast-bowling perspective, Sri Lanka had two fast bowlers one a left-arm pacer who can swing the bowl and can hit the deck with 145+ pace while being consistent on his lines and lengths while the other one was good at mixing it up with variations and genuine pace. Two or three world-class allrounders one being a good fast bowler in death overs and a hard-hitting batter and one being a spinner that can control the run rate while being an excellent batter and a couple of world-class technical batters and a couple of best hard hitters in the world made a perfectly balanced team which was tested in every aspect throughout the tournament where each one of them stepped up and did their job when it was needed.