Former India player Harbhajan Singh feels that Team India put up a competitive total on a tough surface at the R Premadasa Stadium during their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four stage clash against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Team India Captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first and they got off to a quick start as well. They scored 80 runs in 11 overs but soon collapsed after Dasun Shanaka introduced Charith Asalanka and Dunith Wellalage as well. The duo claimed a combined total of nine wickets as India were bowled out for 213 in the first innings as well.
Opining that 214 was a competitive target on that pitch, Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel: “Axar Patel’s cameo at the end proved to be very useful. 214 was always going to be a tricky target seeing the pitch, and it was not going to be easy for Sri Lanka to chase it down. Sri Lanka spinners bowled well though, that must be said.”
Meanwhile, Axar Patel had to bat with the tail after the middle order and the lower middle-order batters failed to contribute. The left-handed batter scored an important 26 runs off 36 runs to help India cross the 200-run mark and played till the final over as well. Harbhajan Singh also praised Kuldeep Yadav and Team India’s performance after they sealed the deal following their third consecutive day of play in the tournament.
“Kuldeep Yadav bowled really well once again, and Bumrah looked in good rhythm once again, just like he was in the match against Pakistan. With this form, India will win the Asia Cup, and it was important to get into such form right before the World Cup,” Harbhajan again added.
However, he also applauded KL Rahul for playing a crucial knock during the team’s win over Sri Lanka in the 2023 Asia Cup Super Four stage. Rahul scored 39 runs off 44 balls on a tricky surface and did well behind the stumps in the second innings as India won by 41 runs. Meanwhile, Team India skipper Rohit Sharma was the top-scorer of the match, notching 53 runs off 48 balls. He also reached the summit of 10,000 ODI runs with a six off Kasun Rajitha as well.
“Ishan Kishan’s partnership with Ishan Kishan was crucial. I hope I don’t jinx it, but KL Rahul is playing really really well. I hope he does not get injured or something. He is scoring runs in a sublime fashion and it did not look like he was playing on the same pitch as the other batters,” Harbhajan Singh concluded. “Rohit Sharma played brilliantly on a sluggish surface and looks in excellent touch ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup. He played well against Pakistan and now against Sri Lanka as well.”