Bengaluru:In the wake of their heavy defeat by India in the ongoing World Cup, Sri Lanka’s assistant coach, Naveed Nawaz, has turned the team’s attention towards securing a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Despite the challenging defeat, Nawaz emphasized the importance of finishing as high as possible in the World Cup standings to secure a spot in the prestigious tournament, which will be hosted by Pakistan.
The 1996 World Cup champions, who secured their spot in this year’s World Cup by navigating through a rigorous qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, faced a formidable defeat to India, managing only 55 runs and suffering a colossal 302-run loss. This loss left them in the seventh position in the World Cup standings with four points.
The top seven finishers in the World Cup will join the host nation, Pakistan, in the upcoming Champions Trophy, making it crucial for Sri Lanka to secure a top-eight finish. Naveed Nawaz conveyed the importance of motivating the team to strive for excellence, even in the face of adversity, stating, “We’ve got to find a factor to motivate the boys and keep them alive because we had the same issue in June when we played the qualifiers.”
Nawaz further noted that the team had a young and promising roster, and he expressed hope that the players would learn from their mistakes and move forward. He emphasized that Sri Lankan cricket was in a phase of rebuilding, with exciting prospects on the horizon.
On the Indian side, Naveed Nawaz praised the pace trio of Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah, who played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s downfall in the recent match. These bowlers relentlessly attacked the stumps and demonstrated their skill in both swinging the ball and delivering in the death overs.
In the same match, Mohammad Shami established himself as India’s most successful World Cup bowler, surpassing the previous record set by Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan. Shami’s consistent performance earned him a tally of 45 wickets in World Cup matches, a testament to his exceptional bowling skills and mental composure.
Shubman Gill, who contributed significantly with a run-a-ball 92 against Sri Lanka, acknowledged the vital role played by India’s bowlers. He praised their ability to consistently limit opponents to below-par scores, making the batsmen’s job considerably easier.
Shreyas Iyer, another key batsman for India, expressed gratitude for only having to face India’s fast bowlers during net practice. He acknowledged the motivation this provided to the batsmen, knowing they had to contend with such formidable bowlers in their own ranks.
The upcoming matches in the World Cup promise further excitement and competition as teams vie for supremacy and a coveted place in the 2025 Champions Trophy.