With the World Cup set to kick off in less than a month’s time, head coach of the Indian cricket team, Rahul Dravid, admitted that his team is in a tricky situation with injuries to several key players. Dravid’s admission came ahead of the Asia Cup final between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday. With Shreyas Iyer already out of action due to a back spasm, India suffered a fresh blow on the eve of the final as all-rounder Axar Patel was ruled out of the match due to a left quadricep strain.
Washington Sundar, who was named as Axar’s replacement in squad, was shipped straight into the XI for the final against Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the Asia Cup final, Dravid said: “We were a bit worried about the weather, but we’ve got decent cricket throughout the tournament. Hopefully, we can get over the line today. Sometimes, you won’t be at your best but to scrap out a win. Some of the catching and fielding in the earlier game against Sri Lanka was really impressive. We need to play good, smart cricket. They are a good team playing in home conditions, we need to execute our skills and scrap out a win.”
With India set to take on Australia in a three-match ODI series after the Asia Cup final, Dravid hoped that the team can make it to the World Cup without any further injury setbacks.
“All teams are in a similar position, injuries so close to the WC could really cost you. We just need to keep our fingers crossed, trust our processes. We are in a tricky situation where some guys need to be rested, while some guys need some cricket. It is a tricky balance to achieve. It’s part of the job. It’s part of what we do to manage it. Hopefully, we can get to the World Cup with no other result today and with the whole squad,” Dravid said on Star Sports after the toss.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl against India in the Asia Cup final.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana
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