Shardul Thakur assessed it best. The 2023 Asia Cup final between India and Sri Lanka “got over withing the blink of an eye.” The all-rounder, who wasn’t part of the playing XI for the final, was all praise for his teammates who closed the summit clash in 21 overs with all ten wickets intact.
“Bumrah started well and what a spell it was from Siraj. It was a brilliant effort from his side. Hardik got those last three wickets. It was a clinical performance by the bowlers. Gill and Ishan got done with the chase,” Thakur told Star Sports post game.
Mohammed Siraj would nab six wickets in his seven over spell, registering the joint-quickest ODI fifer, as the Indian bowlers managed to restrict Sri Lanka for 50 in the final on Sunday.
Record-breaking Siraj! 🤯@mdsirajofficial rewrites history, now recording the best figures in the Asia Cup!
6️⃣ for the pacer!
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) September 17, 2023
Aside from Siraj, Hardik Pandya would pick three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah also struck in the first over. Coming to open the batting then, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan then saw the game through inside 6.1 overs.
Speaking on the big takeaways from the tournament, Thakur added that the team looks in a better shape towards the end of the tournament, and ahead of the ODI World Cup which begins on October 5.
Coming into the tournament, Rohit Sharma and Co had been burdened with doubts over multiple spots and player fitness issues with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer having recently recovered from injuries. The absence of Rahul and Iyer and poor returns from the middle order during the recent series against the West Indies would leave empty slots to be picked in the middle order.
“I think it was more of a combination how we are going to play in the World Cup. KL (Rahul) scoring that ton against Pakistan, what a comeback for him. We feel that we are a settled side, everyone is ready to showcase their skills. Whenever I’ll play I’ll try to contribute for the team,” Thakur said.
The win on Sunday marked India’s eighth Asia Cup win, and their first since 2018. Coincidentally, that title was also under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, who’d take over the reigns in absence of Virat Kohli during that edition in the UAE.