Sri Lanka head coach hopeful about Dasun Shanaka’s IPL contract


Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka’s unbeaten 88-ball 108 will put him in the “IPL marketplace” again, feels their head coach Chris Silverwood.

Chasing a mammoth 374, Sri Lanka were staring at a big loss after being reduced to 179 for 7 but Shanaka, batting at No 6, gave them a faint hope with his counter-attacking knock as they managed 306 for 8 to settle for a 67-run loss here on Tuesday.

“I think he (Shanaka) has done himself a world of good,” Silverwood said at the post-match media interaction here.

Shanaka, who had a base price of Rs 50 lakh, went unsold at the IPL 2023 auction held in Kochi last month.

“He has put himself in the marketplace now. I am sure the (IPL) franchises will be looking at him and seeing how dynamic a cricketer he is. He is a great striker of the ball, so hopefully, he will get an opportunity.” This was Shanaka’s second ODI century as he carried on his form from the T20I series where he was their top run-getter with 124 runs at a strike rate of 187.87.

Guwahati: Sri Lankan batsman Dasun Shanaka celebrates his century during the 1st ODI match between India and Sri Lanka at Barsapara stadium, in Guwahati, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

Asked if Sri Lanka were over-reliant on Shanaka, the coach said: “I don’t think we rely (only) on Dasun. He is in a great vein of form at the moment, so obviously he is shining.

“If you look, we had Pathum (Nissanka) also score runs today. I thought the partnership between him and Dhananjaya (de Silva) gave us some momentum when they were together.” Opener Nissanka made 72 from 80 balls, while Dhananjaya scored 47.

“We have seen over a period of time that each individual at times has put their hands up and been counted. So I am not overly worried about that.

“Obviously, we need them to put their hands up more, especially on very good tracks like this, to put that fight up, to build partnerships. So that’s a constant work,” the coach said.

Put in to bat, India got off to a flier with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill adding 143 runs for the opening wicket. Thereafter, it was a Virat Kohli show as he scored his 45th ODI century to take them to 373/7.

Silverwood said their bowling lacked discipline, while two dropped catches of Kohli also dragged them back.

“Obviously, we didn’t get off to the best start,” Silverwood said after the match.

“If I have to be brutally honest, our discipline in the first ten overs was lacking at times, and we allowed India to get off to a good start. This is a high-scoring ground. India knew that they had to get off to a good start and we allowed them to do that.

“They gained momentum from that and we had to push back all the time to try to put the brakes on. And I think we did that for a period of time. But when you have a class batting line-up as India have, then it’s difficult to stop them.” Sri Lanka’s fielding was found wanting as well. They dropped Kohli twice, first on 52 and then on 81. He went on to score 113 off just 87 balls.

“Yeah, obviously they were costly. Moments like that are very critical in a game like this — we knew it was going to be a high-scoring one.

“And we all know if you give a player of Virat’s calibre opportunities, he would take it. And that’s exactly what he did today.

“Of course, it was an excellent knock, but had we taken those opportunities he presented, you never know,” he concluded.





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