We want Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka to provide firepower in lower-order: Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood

Sri Lanka made it to the Super Fours stage of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 after beating Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva
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Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Since Dasun Shanaka took over the reins of Sri Lanka's white-ball captaincy, things have turned brighter for the 1996 ODI World Cup winners. He led the team to the Asia Cup 2022 title and is now trying his best to inspire a depleted team to retain the title this year. However, his own batting form has been a concern as of late.

This year, Shanaka averages a meagre 18.58 in 14 innings with the bat. His strike rate of 90.65 is decent but considering the fact that he comes in to bat mostly at No. 6 or 7, he would love to push it up by a few notches. Dhananjaya de Silva, who is batting at No. 6 in this year's Asia Cup, has an average of 26 at that particular position and a strike rate of just 74.93. Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood said that the coaching staff is working closely with Shanaka to get him to his best. The experienced coach noted that Shanaka and Dhananjaya will have crucial roles to play as finishers as Sri Lanka look to bring back their glory days.

"Dasun is working very hard at the moment, as he always does. We're working hard with him at the moment so he can get the runs that we know he can. We think at No. 7 he can make real strong contributions for us, and help build on the good starts that we've been getting. We've been getting into positions we could launch from, and it'd be great to see Dasun really hurt the opposition and get us over that 300 mark," Silverwood said on the eve of Sri Lanka's Super Four fixture against Bangladesh.

"With the two of them [Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka] sat at [Nos.] 6 and 7, we want them to provide firepower. It's not just a case of going out there and slogging. It's about doing it their way, and hitting their strong shots. And making sure that they have a clear plan of how they're going to execute that. As we've seen in the past, Dhananjaya has been very good at getting us out of a hole, and getting us to a score that we can then defend."

I think Bangladesh have got a very strong bowling unit: Chris Silverwood

The former England coach lauded Bangladesh's bowling attack. He stressed the importance of planning in order to tackle the 'strong' and 'accurate' pacers of Bangladesh.

"I think Bangladesh have got a very strong bowling unit. From what I've seen so far, in this competition, I've been very impressed with them - particularly the pace bowlers. They're big, they're strong, they're accurate, and they get movement. We have to make sure we prepare well and make sure that every batter on our side has a plan on how to cope with every bowler on their side," Silverwood said.

Sri Lanka face Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday, September 09.

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