Asia Cup 2022: 3 Sri Lankan players to watch out for

Sri Lanka will rely heavily on Wanindu Hasaranga.
Sri Lanka will rely heavily on Wanindu Hasaranga.

Sri Lankan cricket has taken a long time to rebuild after the era of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, but it finally appears to be turning a corner.

Over the last year or so, a young Sri Lankan team looks to have found a new identity and style of play, with players like Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera becoming well-known names in the cricketing world.

While they won only two out of their five group stage matches at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the UAE last year, they showed plenty of character and weren't pushovers by any means. Their recent performances have been strong in all formats, including a spirited limited-overs series against Australia.

While the focus will certainly be on India and Pakistan in the upcoming Asia Cup, Sri Lanka could emerge as the dark horse in the tournament. On that note, let's look at three Sri Lankan players to watch out for.

#3 Chamika Karunaratne

Chamika Karunaratne is a top utility player for Sri Lanka. (Image Courtesy:
Chamika Karunaratne is a top utility player for Sri Lanka. (Image Courtesy:

Bowling all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne should be a key figure for Sri Lanka as they look to give a good account of themselves in the Asia Cup. He's a fast bowler who can also wield the willow to good effect and can be compared to the likes of Shardul Thakur.

He's a skiddy, hit-the-deck kind of fast bowler with a knack for picking up wickets at the right time. He is also very handy with the bat and is a clean striker of the ball. He's deadly against fast bowlers and can be used as a pinch-hitter.

While his numbers don't stand out in any department, Chamika is a utility player essential to this Sri Lankan side. He's sure to make their playing XI and is one to watch out for.

#2 Wanindu Hasaranga

The name is a bit of a no-brainer. Wanindu Hasaranga is arguably the most well-known Sri Lankan player in their new cricketing era due to his exploits on both the international stage and in the IPL. He was instrumental in the Lankans' good showing in the T20 World Cup last year and was excellent as the lead spinner for RCB in IPL 2022.

With the Asia Cup to be held in the UAE, Hasaranga could trouble opposition batters on relatively slow surfaces conducive to spin bowling. His numbers in T20I cricket are simply staggering, with him picking up 62 wickets in only 38 matches at an economy rate of just 6.61. He's also a very capable batter, and his counter-attacking knock of 71 under pressure against Ireland is a good example.

Sri Lanka's success in the Asia Cup could revolve around Hasaranga's performances, and they'll look to him to produce some game-changing moments.

#1 Charith Asalanka

Look out for Charith Asalanka at the Asia Cup 2022.
Look out for Charith Asalanka at the Asia Cup 2022.

Charith Asalanka is one of the most promising batters in the Sri Lankan national team and is one to watch out for in the Asia Cup. The southpaw finished the T20 World Cup as Sri Lanka's highest run-scorer, scoring 231 runs at an average of 46.20 and a strike rate of 147.13.

A flexible and versatile batter who can also bowl some off-spin, Asalanka is an attacking batter with a wide array of strokes. He was in excellent form in the recently concluded limited-overs series against Australia and looks set to impress in this subcontinental battle as well.

Asalanka should take the No. 3 spot in Sri Lanka's batting order and will be one of their key players in the competition. He's one to keep an eye on.

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Edited by Neelay Yadav
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