After defeating India to get to the Asia Cup final, batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa claimed Sri Lanka had dispelled their reputation as underdogs and demonstrated their ability to contend at the T20 World Cup taking place next month.
Rajapaksa's team won three straight games in the Twenty20 competition, which was transferred from Sri Lanka to the United Arab Emirates because to political upheaval and an economic crisis, after coming back from a devastating opening loss to Afghanistan.
In the Super Four match on Tuesday in Dubai, Sri Lanka defeated pre-tournament favourites India by six wickets thanks to an unbroken 64-run partnership between captain Dasun Shanaka and Rajapaksa.
"From the moment we arrived in the UAE, we were the underdogs. We all know how India and Pakistan are on any given day "Rajapaksa, who hit an unbeatable 25, stated.
So there was less pressure on us, and all we wanted to do was make a statement to the world, especially to our country, because this was the one thing that could make people smile amid all the turmoil at home.Despite the nation's ongoing struggles with food and fuel shortages as well as rolling blackouts, Sri Lanka, who won the T20 World Cup in 2014 and the 50-over World Cup in 1996, have had success on the field this year.
Rajapaksa asserted, "I don't think we could be labelled underdogs any longer after the declarations that we have made. "I believe we have handled it fairly well thus far, and we stand a very strong chance of winning the World Cup."
Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who tweeted the following, praised the team highly for defeating India: "Great job, boys! The attitude was excellent. Keep going; never give up."
Kumar Sangakkara, another former captain, praised the group's "never say die spirit" and "sparkling potential and ability." According to Rajapaksa, maintaining confidence by sticking with a stable roster of Sri Lankan players had been beneficial.
From the perspective of the captain, selectors, and coaches, they have supported the players, which is a really positive indicator. In the future, it will significantly aid Sri Lankan cricket in reestablishing its reputation, which existed a few decades ago.