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Asian teams need to play out of their skins to win CT: Tillakaratne Dilshan

Dilshan was of the opinion that non-Asian sides have a better chance of lifting the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy.

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka did not get off to a great start in their Champions Trophy campaign as they faced an embarrassing defeat at the hands of lowly Scotland in a warm-up game played in Beckenham on May 21. They ultimately had their revenge when they defeated the same side two days later but the telling blows had long since been struck.

Sri Lanka is not the same side it used to be a couple years back due to the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. They had a great record in major ICC events when the big three were around as they reached the finals of the 2007 and 2011 World Cups along with the finals of 2009 and 2012 World T20 finals. They finally won an ICC event when they lifted the 2014 World T20. But post the retirements of these legends, Sri Lankan cricket hasn’t done much of notice in the recent past. They have a young side which will gradually get better with more experience and exposure.

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Former opener Tillakaratne Dilshan said that because the tournament is held in England, the non-Asian teams like Australia, hosts England, South Africa and New Zealand are bound to do well as they are more used to the conditions than their Asian counterparts.

“We have a young team and they are inexperienced but a talented one. Playing away from the sub-continent, especially in English conditions, is not an easy task and that is where sides like England, South Africa and Australia will have a huge advantage,” the former Sri Lankan opener said in an interview with pakpassion.net.

Dilshan highlighted that Asian teams will have to play at full pelt in order to lift the title.

“For Asian countries to win the trophy in England is not going to be easy. In fact, I will say that even playing 75% of their potential will not be enough and they will need to play out of their skins to win the Champions Trophy this year,” he added.

Dilshan himself was a part of 4 Champions Trophy tournaments and has scored 363 runs in 13 innings at an impressive average of 40.33 with the highest score of 106. Sri Lanka has won one edition in 2002 and starts this one as the underdogs.

Sri Lanka begins their campaign when they take on South Africa on Saturday at the Kennington Oval in London. They face neighbours India on the same venue on June 8 followed by playing Pakistan at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on June 12.

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