Former India player Gautam Gambhir has criticized Dhananjaya de Silva for throwing away his wicket after steadying the ship with Dunith Wellalage and almost taking Sri Lanka close to victory in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against India. However, India set a 214-run target at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday, September 12 and later bowled out the opponents for 172 to register a 41-run win and reach the final to be played on Sunday as well.
While reviewing the game on Star Sports, Gambhir said: “Apart from it being a turning point, he would be extremely disappointed. You don’t expect such a shot from Dhananjaya de Silva, who is an experienced player. This is the difference between a good and a great player. A great player wouldn’t have played such a shot and left you on someone else’s shoulders. They (great players) themselves leave after scoring the last run. This is the difference between being a top team and a team trying to become one. India are a top team because they have players who don’t give such opportunities.”
However, De Silva and Wellalage added together a 63-run seventh-wicket partnership after Sri Lanka had been reduced to 99/6 as well. The former then hit a delivery off Ravindra Jadeja straight to Shubman Gill at mid-on to give India a breakthrough and they seized the opportunity with ease as well.
“The way Wellalage was batting, if you had scored 20 or 25 more runs from there, India might have been under immense pressure. You had put in the effort. You had done the difficult task,” Gautam Gambhir concluded. “If you had converted the 41 runs you scored into 60 or 65 and Wellalage was scoring runs from the other end, it would have become difficult for India.”