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Shanaka expresses concern over preparations for Top Order

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On the heels of a humiliating loss in the opening game of the Asian Cup 2022, Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka challenged the batters if they were prepared to face Afghanistan’s speed combo of Fazalhak Farooqi and Naveen Ul-Hak. The Afghan pair swung, taking out Sri Lanka’s top three players—Mendis, Ksar’s Pathum Nissanka, and Charis’s Athalanka—and causing Sri Lanka to lose 5-3.

“You have to ask the batters whether they’re ready”, Shanaka remarked during a press conference. We know Farooqi is a two-way player, and Naveen-ul-Haq also frequently swings. “We must think about if the pitch was indeed ready to play. The first two overs were what completely altered the scenario.”

The stigma surrounding Sri Lanka persisted; Afghanistan was only 10.1 overs and two defeats behind. After losing his early wickets, Shanaka acknowledged that it was usually tough to regain momentum in the match. Still, he insisted that he would not offer any “excuses” for his disastrous showing.

“It’s tough to get back into the game if you lose 2 wickets in the first over and 4 doors during the power play [in 7.2 overs]. Losing is common, but we’re a much better squad than losing by this much margin. You must strike in any circumstance.

Shanaka also lauded Afghanistan for their great performances and noted they were contenders to participate in the summit match. It has a potent spin attack, and the performance of Ramanu Raghulbaz and Hazratura Zazai in the opening game would have given the Afghan team more confidence.

“They have a great chance of winning the tournament and making it to the title game because this is their home field, assuming their batters play well. They might not bowl at a high level. Anything, especially spinners, has no place here”, he declared.

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