File photo of KL Rahul.© AFP
The Asia Cup 2023 was a successful campaign for the Indian cricket team as it claimed its record-extending eighth title and so was the case with KL Rahul. The wicketkeeper-batter didn’t have a good start to the tournament. He was making a return to international cricket after a long gap due to a thigh injury that saw him get under the knife, but a niggle forced him to miss the first two matches of Asia Cup as well. However, Rahul bounced back brilliantly with a 111 not out against Pakistan in the Super 4 match.
The right-handed batter ended the tournament with 169 runs across three innings at an average of 84.50. Impressed with his comeback, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar praised Rahul’s fitness.
“Very, very good to see him fit. We all knew what his quality is. He has proven it over such a long time. The only question mark would have been about his fitness and in that century knock against Pakistan, he showed his fitness because it was not just a question of playing a long innings, but also running between the wickets. And who are you running with? Probably the fastest runner in the game between 22 yards, Virat Kohli. He did that so well. And later on came and kept wickets for a major part. That 100 percent proves his fitness,” Gavaskar told India Today after India beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the final of Asia Cup 2023.
Talking about the summit clash, Mohammed Siraj bowled a terrific six-wicket spell helping India eventually outplay Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.
With the help of Siraj’s 6 for 21 in 7 overs, the Rohit Sharma-led side bundled out Sri Lanka for 50 runs after skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to bat.
Siraj picked his first five wickets in 16 balls which is also the joint fastest in ODI cricket history. He also became only the fourth Indian bowler to claim 6 wickets in an ODI innings. Anil Kumble, Jasprit Bumrah and Stuart Binny are the other three Indian bowlers to do so.
Jasprit Bumrah landed the first blow before Siraj took over and didn’t let the opponents settle down.
In the paltry chase, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan comfortably took India home in 6.1 overs.
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