India’s crushing victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday for their eighth Asia Cup crown with a bowling masterclass from Mohammed Siraj gives skipper Rohit Sharma confidence ahead of the World Cup.
Siraj returned figures of 6-21 as India bundled out Sri Lanka for 50 in 15.2 overs and won the lop-sided final by 10 wickets in Colombo.
Indian bowlers led by pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and spinner Kuldeep Yadav stood out in the 50-over tournament, which served as a tune-up for the ODI World Cup starting October 5 in India.
“It gives us a lot of confidence to come here and win a tournament like this,” Rohit told reporters after the title win came in just 116 minutes of play.
“At various stages of the tournament we were challenged in different parts of our game and we stood up to those challenges against various conditions, various bowling types.”
He said, “We can take a lot of positives from the tournament, not just for one or two players but for the entire squad. They did their job.”
Sri Lanka elected to bat first but play started after a rain delay and Siraj made most of the pitch and the overcast conditions to pick four wickets in one over.
Siraj was named man of the match for his seven overs of dominant bowling while Kuldeep was the player of the series for his nine wickets in the tournament.
“When I see bowlers like this bowl like this, I get a lot of satisfaction,” said Rohit.
“I think fast bowling is something captains take a lot of pride in. In fact, all the five bowlers have a lot of skill-set and variation. When you get all this as a captain you feel confident.”
In the Super Fours, India posted 356-2 in their 228-run hammering of arch-rivals Pakistan before they defended 213 against Sri Lanka to march into the final.
“Nature of this pitch here is challenging and unexpected as well. Siraj has to be mentioned here because when the pitch is so dry, to get the ball to move around like that is a special skill set.”
The batters shone for India after Virat Kohli and the returning KL Rahul hit centuries against Pakistan in the Super Fours and Rohit praised the all-round effort.
“Guys can stand up under pressure and perform the job for the team and same goes for the bowlers as well,” Rohit said of his team’s all-round showing.
“Our fielding was outstanding in this series. Slip catches against pacers. We will have off days on the field is fine as long as you back it up with a solid performance the next day.”
India will play Australia at home in three ODI matches before heading into the World Cup and their opening match against the Aussies on October 8.