Sri Lanka’s head coach Chris Silverwood has heaped praises on Dasun Shanaka for his stellar performance in the first ODI against India on Tuesday (January 10) and tipped him to win an IPL contract soon. The Sri Lankan captain went unsold during the IPL 2023 mini-auction on December 23 but his recent performances, especially against India, have led to a lot of them speaking about him getting a contract.
Shanaka smashed a 20-ball fifty in the second T20I against India to become the fastest Sri Lankan to score a half-century in T20Is. He was the leading run-scorer for his team in the recently concluded T20I series with 124 runs from three innings at a strike rate of 187.87 and continued that momentum in the ODI series with his second international hundred.
The 31-year-old batting all-rounder dragged Sri Lanka from 206/8 to 306/8 to avoid a massive defeat while chasing a big 374-run target in Guwahati. He completed his century with a four on the innings’ second-last delivery and finished the game with a huge six off Mohammed Shami’s delivery. Silverwood feels that Shanaka has put himself in the marketplace now and believes that the IPL franchises will be keeping tabs on the cricketer.
“I think he (Shanaka) has done himself a world of good. He has put himself in the marketplace now. I am sure the (IPL) franchises will be looking at him and seeing how dynamic a cricketer he is. He is a great striker of the ball, so hopefully, he will get an opportunity,” Silverwood said at the post-match media interaction on Tuesday.
I don’t think we rely only on Dasun Shanaka: Chris Silverwood
If it was not for Shanaka’s 108* knock, Sri Lanka would have suffered a massive defeat in the first ODI. Opener Pathum Nissanka contributed with 72 runs but other batters struggled against India’s pace attack in Guwahati. When asked about whether Sri Lanka are over-reliant on their skipper, Silverwood said that his team is not dependent only on Shanaka and added that each individual in the team has contributed well over a period.
“I don’t think we rely (only) on Dasun. He is in a great vein of form at the moment, so obviously he is shining. If you look, we had Pathum (Nissanka) also score runs today. I thought the partnership between him and Dhananjaya (de Silva) gave us some momentum when they were together. We have seen over a period of time that each individual at times has put their hands up and been counted,” Silverwood added.