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SL head coach believes in-form Shanaka, who went unsold in IPL 2023 auction, will land a contract soon

Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka, whose base price was Rs 50 lakh, went unsold at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 auction held in Kochi last month. 

SL head coach believes in-form Shanaka, who went unsold in IPL 2023 auction, will land a contract soon snt
First Published Jan 11, 2023, 2:33 PM IST

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

After being reduced to 179 for 7, Sri Lanka faced a significant loss in their attempt to chase down a huge 374. However, Shanaka, batting at No. 6, offered them a sliver of hope with his counter-attacking effort, and they achieved 306 for 8 to accept a 67-run defeat in Guwahati on Tuesday.

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

Also read: IND vs SL 2022-23, 1st ODI: 'Cannot get Shanaka out like that' - Rohit on Shami's 'Mankading' appeal

Shanaka, whose base price was 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," Silverwood added.

Shanaka scored his second ODI century, continuing his strong play from the T20I series, where he led his team in scoring 124 runs at a strike rate of 187.87.

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 constant work," the coach said. 

Also read: 'Was in denial, frustration was creeping in' - Virat Kohli on his prolonged grey patch

When India was put in to bat, they got off to a fast start, accumulating 143 runs for the first wicket between Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Virat Kohli then put on a display, scoring his 45th ODI century to push them to 373/7. According to Silverwood, their bowling lacked discipline, and two dropped Kohli catches added to their woes.

"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," he added.

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. 

Also read: IND vs SL 2022-23, 1st ODI: 'Feels good when your captain backs you' - Gill on playing his natural game

"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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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