All eyes will be focused on Team India’s lineup for the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka. India may need to make a change if the conditions favor spin bowling. This is because their left-arm spinner, Axar Patel, is unavailable due to a thigh strain sustained during the last Super 4 stage match against Bangladesh. Washington Sundar, another spin-bowling all-rounder, has stepped in to replace Axar Patel and swiftly joined the squad in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has faced its own injury setback. They had already lost key players like Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera, and now their mystery spinner, Mahesh Theekshana, has suffered a hamstring injury during the Super 4 clash against Pakistan. He has been replaced by 27-year-old offspinner Sahan Arachchige. These changes are likely to impact both teams’ playing XIs.
It will be intriguing to see how India handles the situation with Shreyas Iyer. Iyer made a comeback in the Asia Cup and played a game against Pakistan. However, he got injured just before the India vs. Pakistan match in the Super 4s. Iyer’s injury allowed KL Rahul to return to the XI, and he impressed with a century, earning the trust of the management. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan has also delivered strong performances. If Iyer is fit for the final, as it appears, the question arises: Will he be included in the playing XI, and if so, who will he replace? These are questions that will be answered soon.
India had rested five players in the match against Bangladesh, namely Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj. They are expected to return to the playing XI for the final in Colombo. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will have to find a suitable replacement for Theekshana, who has been outstanding in the powerplay overs, to keep the Indian batters in check during the initial ten overs.
Playing XI for India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar/Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Playing XI for Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madhushan/Dushan Hemantha, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana