Sri Lankan head coach Chandika Hathurusingha wants to get off to a winning start in the Asia Cup opener against Bangladesh and is also hoping to go all the way through in the tournament.
One expects Bangladesh to pose a big challenger in the opening game against Sri Lanka who though look strong on paper have a tendency to lose their nerves in key matches recently.
At the moment, Sri Lanka is ranked eighth in the world following their poor outing in 2017, where they won only five of their 29 ODIs – including three 5-0 whitewashes against South Africa, India and Pakistan. However, the Islanders have turned it around so far this year, as they have won five of ten One Day games.
Haturusinghe further said that their first two games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be tough for them as on their fay both the teams can pose a great challenge to their opposition.
However, Sri Lankan coach admitted that they are definitely the underdogs but would like to see his team playing the final of the Asia Cup 2018.
Hathurusingha told Firstpost on Tuesday (September 11), “Both teams in our opening round are like banana skins you see. On their days they can upset any team. They have match winners and they can surprise you. Bangladesh have been playing good cricket and they don’t have that fear factor anymore. We have to make sure that their impact players are not having a good day.”
Meanwhile, he picked Pakistan as favorites to win the Asia Cup 2018 title while India-led by Rohit Sharma comes close to finishing second in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli.
Hathurusingha opined, “Pakistan are favourites for me. Pakistan are the Champions Trophy winners and they have an excellent record in UAE. India are a close second because Virat Kohli is not there.”
He signed off by saying, “It is going to be a tough competition. India are word’s second ranked team and defending champions. Pakistan have won the Champions Trophy. The Asian teams are doing well and we are definitely the underdogs. I would be happy with the team making it to the final. That is my goal.”