The 2023 Asia Cup concluded with a triumphant victory for Team India last Sunday, who decimated Sri Lanka by a staggering 10 wickets in the final match, held in Colombo. Sri Lanka, the host team, was bowled out for a paltry 50, with Mohammed Siraj of India producing a match-winning performance, claiming six wickets for a mere 21 runs in seven overs. Hardik Pandya also contributed significantly, taking three wickets for just three runs. The target was effortlessly chased by openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, securing India’s win.
Team India’s performance in the tournament was consistently outstanding, with a particularly notable victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 4 stage. The initial group stage match between the two had been cancelled due to rain, but the re-match saw India secure an emphatic 228-run win. A subsequent 41-run victory over Sri Lanka confirmed India’s place in the final, while a narrow six-run loss to Bangladesh in the final Super 4 game did little to dampen spirits.
Dominic Cork, a former England player and part of the Asia Cup’s broadcasting team, had a front-row seat to the tournament’s action. He has since declared India as “far ahead” of all their subcontinental rivals, even making a pointed remark regarding Babar Azam’s Pakistan team.
Reflecting on the performances, Cork stated on Sky Sports during the first T20I between England and Ireland, “You look at Pakistan and think they’d have no chance at the World Cup. You can never write them off, but when you see India, they appear a complete package. With the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat and Rohit, and the young guns coming through like Shubman Gill, India do look the strongest. Pakistan doesn’t seem very strong at the moment, but they can’t be written off. Sri Lanka has a few promising youngsters like Wellalage and Pathirana, who is reminiscent of Malinga. There is good talent coming through, but India appears way ahead of all.”
As the world of cricket continues to buzz with the aftermath of the Asia Cup, the attention now shifts to the upcoming 2023 World Cup. As a precursor, India will face Australia in a three-match series kicking off on October 22. This will be the second time the two teams will clash in an ODI series this year, the previous encounter in March seeing a Steve Smith-led Australia defeating India 2-1. The upcoming series promises to be an exciting dress-rehearsal ahead of the World Cup opener.