COLOMBO (AFP): Sri Lanka’s crushing 10-wicket loss to India in the Asia Cup final should help the team learn lessons for the ODI World Cup, coach Chris Silverwood said Sunday.
The home team were bowled out for just 50 in 15.2 overs with Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj ripping through the batting with his 6-21 in Colombo.
Sri Lanka were playing their 11th Asia Cup final but the 116-minute humilation left the fans disappointed and coach Silverwood said he hoped it will be a blessing in disguise.
“Sometimes a bit of a kick up the rear end is not the worst thing going into a World Cup,” Silverwood told reporters.
“Maybe this is just a wake up call, that for us to compete against teams like India, Australia, and New Zealand – those types of guys – we have to be on top of our game.
He said, “Maybe there’s something we can use out of this that can motivate us heading into that World Cup.”
Sri Lanka, who have made the ODI World Cup starting October 5 in India after playing the qualifiers, went in as underdogs in the regional 50-over tournament.
But what unfolded in the final was unexpected as Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka fell like a pack of cards after they elected to bat first.
“Clearly it was a bad day in the office. Clearly we came up against a very high-class bowling unit,” said Silverwood.
“It was a shame to finish the way we did. It’s one of those things we can’t dwell on too much because we’ve got a big tournament coming up. There are lessons to learn and questions to be asked in the dressing room.”
Sri Lanka overcame an inconsistent showing at the start of the tournament and sneaked into the Super Fours with a dramatic win over Afghanistan.
Fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana and left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage stood out for Sri Lanka with 21 wickets between them and Silverwood counted them as positives from the tournament.
“We played some very good cricket to get to the final. We had to fight very hard. For me it was an achievement,” said Silverwood.
“But if we take today out of the equation, we’ve seen two youngsters put their hands up, in Dunith Wellalage, and Matheesha Pathirana. We’ve seen two of them really put up their hands on the world stage.”
He added, “Sadeera (Samarawickrama) played some good knocks. (Kusal) Mendis has come back into form. But clearly consistency is something we need to bring into the game.”
Sri Lanka will start their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Delhi on October 7.