Arjuna Ranatunga’s recent comments on the Indian team on the Sri Lanka tour has create a lot of stir. He had stated that the Shikhar Dhawan-led side is a second string and it is an insult to the cricket in his country. He also put the blame on the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for accepting the team to earn the broadcasting revenues with this India tour. However, SLC was quick to respond and remind him that the touring party has a lot of international experience and it is a strong squad.
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has now responded to Ranatunga’s comments. While he admitted that some of India’s top cricketers are certainly missing the tour to island nation, but he questioned the claim if it is a second string team. He pointed out that the experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and others are still in the line-up and questioned if Sri Lanka will have such experienced players in their squad.
“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? 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 said while speaking on his Youtube channel.
Aakash Chopra reminds Sri Lanka of their own situation
Cricket in Sri Lanka is currently in doldrums. They have hardly won in international cricket across formats and have lost comfortably in all matches they played in England so far. There have been bubble breach and contract issues going on as well. Aakash Chopra pointed out at all these problems and advised Sri Lanka to look into their own situation while also reminding that the team has to play qualifiers in the T20 World Cup.
“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,” Chopra added. The white-ball series between India and Sri Lanka will get underway on July 13.