Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga sparked a controversy when he slammed the Sri Lanka Cricket Board SLC) for accepting the proposal from India for a series despite the main Indian players missing from the squad, saying it’s an insult to Sri Lanka. India are set to play three ODIs and as many T20Is against Sri Lanka.
The main Indian squad is in England, gearing up for the five-match Test series thus the BCCI decided to send a white ball specialist team to Sri Lanka. The Indian team will be led by Shikhar Dhawan while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy. The squad also includes the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal among others. All these players are established cricketers thus Ranatunga’s comments didn’t go down well with many fans and experts.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra also questioned Ranatunga’s comments and said that despite missing big players the Indian team is not short on quality.
“It is absolutely right that it is not the main team, the likes of Bumrah, Shami, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are not there. But is it really like a B-grade team?” Aakash said on his Youtube Channel.
Not all is well between Sri Lanka Board and its players. The players have refused to sign the new contract due to its terms and conditions and there are reports that Sri Lanka themselves might name a second-string team to face India. Meanwhile, the board has also dropped senior players from the squad due to their below-par performances. Chopra further pointed out the Indian playing XI against Sri Lanka might be more experienced than their opponents.
“India’s probable ODI XI has played 471 ODIs in total, of course, this is not the first team. When Sri Lanka picks the team, it will be interesting to see how many matches in all they have played. When you try to match experience to experience, it will be a very exciting exercise.”
Chopra added it would have been impossible to send the main Indian team to Sri Lanka and then play a series against England after serving the quarantine. He said the only option then would have been to cancel the Sri Lanka tour. Sri Lanka cricket is in the middle of a steady slump. They were recently thrashed by England in T20I and ODI series. Given the form, they’ll actually go as underdogs in the series against the so-called second-string Indian team.
“Sri Lanka will have to look inwards as well. Let’s be honest, Afghanistan doesn’t have to play the World T20 qualifiers, you have to. This is a reality. The truth is that Sri Lankan cricket is really struggling at the moment, even if you look at the England numbers now.”
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