India will lock horns with defending champions Sri Lanka in the Super 4 of the Asian Champion League 2023 at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on 12th September, Tuesday. Both teams are strong contenders to win the tournament. India and Sri Lanka will face off against each other for the first time in the ongoing Asian Champion League. Team India kicked off their Super 4 stage with a 228-run win against arch-rivals, while Sri Lanka registered a 21-run win over Bangladesh to extend their winning streak to 13 matches in ODIs.
The Asian Champion League 2023 has been frequently interrupted by rains in Sri Lanka. India’s first match of the tournament against Pakistan was called off but played a curtailed match against Nepal. India’s second face-off against Pakistan in the Super 4 witnessed heavy showers and the match was resumed on the reserve. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, played all the matches thus far without any interruptions and is currently riding high on confidence to give a tough challenge to India. The upcoming match between India and Sri Lanka is expected to be exciting as both will look to give a tough fight to consolidate their spot in the Final.
Players to watch out for
KL Rahul (IND): KL Rahul made a statement with a brilliant century in his comeback match against Pakistan. The 31-year-old scored a scintillating unbeaten knock of 111 off 106 balls and forged an unbeaten 233-run partnership with V Kohli (122*) in India’s first Super 4 match against the arch-rivals. Despite being on the sideline for four months due to injury, KL Rahul looked in a good rhythm and built his innings well. His performance was a big positive for Team India management. Rahul’s form is crucial for the team and one can expect to continue his good form in the upcoming matches of the Asian Champion League. KL Rahul will look to come up with goods again against Sri Lanka.
K Mendis (SL): K Mendis has been one of the in-form batsmen in the Asian Champion League. He is currently the fourth-leading run-getter of the tournament, aggregating 147 runs, including two fifties, at an average of 49 in 3 matches so far. In the previous match against Bangladesh, Mendis scored 50 off 73 balls at a moderate strike rate of 68.49. K Mendis is an attacking top-order batsman who can accelerate the innings when needed. Sri Lanka’s batting line-up relies on him because of his ability to anchor the innings. Mendis is in good form and is likely to pose a threat to India’s bowling line-up.
K Yadav (IND): K Yadav was one of the star performers in India’s first Super 4 match against Pakistan. He rattled the opposition’s middle-order with his spin bowling and scalped five wickets while conceding just 25 runs at an economy rate of 3.10 in 8 overs. Yadav is a specialist spin bowler on the team and his ability to deliver the ball in good line and length makes him one of the wicket-taking options. K Yadav’s performance against Pakistan was a glimpse of his brilliance. His spin bowling is often unplayable for the batsman as he bowls in different variations, which is a big plus of having him in the team. K Yadav is likely to pose a threat to Sri Lanka’s batting line-up.
M Pathirana (SL): M Pathirana has been one of the bowling mainstays for Sri Lanka in the ongoing Asian Champion League. He is the joint third-leading wicket-taker of the tournament, with 8 scalps at an average of 19.12 and an economy rate of 5.70 in 3 matches so far. In Sri Lanka’s first Super 4 match against Bangladesh, Pathirana scalped three wickets while conceding 58 runs at an economy rate of 6.50 in 9.1 overs. He has a good pace and ability to deliver the bowl at good line and length. His bowling action has a resemblance to former Sri Lanka bowler L Malinga. M Pathirana can pull off yorkers and restrict the flow of runs in the middle as well as in the death overs. Pathirana is likely to pose a threat to India’s batting line-up.
Predicted Playing XI
IND: R Sharma [C], S Gill, V Kohli, KL Rahul, I Kishan [WK], H Pandya, R Jadeja, K Yadav, M Siraj, J Bumrah,
SL: P Nissanka, D Karunaratne, K Mendis [WK], S Samarawickrama, C Asalanka, D de Silva, D Shanaka [C], D Wellalage, M Theekshana, K Rajitha, M Pathirana,
Fantasy Playing XI
Wicketkeeper: K Mendis
Batsmen: S Gill [C], P Nissanka, V Kohli, KL Rahul,
All-rounders: R Jadeja [VC], D Shanaka
Bowlers: K Yadav, M Pathirana, M Theekshana, M Siraj,