Sri Lanka's Asia Cup rout will give 'motivation' against India
November 1, 2023 06:54 PM
Sri Lanka's crushing defeat to India in the Asia Cup final will add to the team's "motivation" in their key World Cup clash against the hosts, coach Chris Silverwood said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka meet an unbeaten India in Mumbai on Thursday after the two teams clashed in the regional tournament in September when the island nation folded for just 50 in a 10-wicket hammering.
The Sri Lankans come into the contest with just two wins in six matches and a previous loss to Afghanistan.
India have lived-up to their billing of tournament favourites with six wins in as many games and their latest thrashing of defending champions England.
"I'd rather hope that the defeat in the Asia Cup would give more motivation to the boys to come out and obviously fight tomorrow, show plenty of spirit and get stuck in to the Indian side," Silverwood told reporters.
"They're a very good side, we know that, we've seen them play some superb cricket this tournament so far. But I think it's a good opportunity for our boys to show what they're made of as well."
Sri Lanka, who won the World Cup in 1996, return to the scene of the 2011 final when M.S. Dhoni's India beat them at the Wankhede Stadium to lift the trophy.
"The boys are very aware of the history, to be honest. Obviously, players do talk about past history of their team as well and the results that they've had," said Silverwood.
"But let's be honest, it's a great stadium. And when you are stood out in the middle, you get goose bumps. There's plenty of things out there to motivate them to go perform in front of what will be a packed house."
- 'Learned about himself' -
Sri Lanka showed glimpses of their brand of cricket in their eight-wicket win over defending champions England last week before they stumbled to defeat against Afghanistan.
The Afghans bowled out Sri Lanka for 241, a total they achieved with seven wickets and 28 balls to spare.
Sri Lanka's hopes of reaching the semi-finals are hanging by a thread and a victory on Thursday is crucial to their hopes.
"All of us were very disappointed the other night after that result. That's not to take anything away from Afghanistan," Silverwood said.
"We had a very good chat in the dressing room afterwards, addressed some of the issues that we felt we had and then we've come here and we're trying to put that right in practice now. So, we'll be ready for tomorrow."
Batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama has been the team's most consistent performer with 331 runs including a hundred and two half-centuries.
"He's learned about himself and what works for him, more importantly. And then now he's just trying to do that consistently time and time and time again," said Silverwood.
"And I think that's what all the greats do. If you look at Virat (Kohli) and people like that, they're just consistent with what they do all the time."