Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments calling the Indian team in Sri Lanka second string does not bother skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who said that they are going for victory against a young Sri Lankan team.
“I feel this Sri Lankan team is a young team and they have got good players. If they feel it is a second [string] team, that is their feeling. We will go ahead and play Sri Lanka. It is an international match. We have to seize the opportunity,” said Dhawan during an interaction with the media.
Earlier this month, Ranatunga had slammed the country’s cricket board for agreeing to host a “second-string Indian team” in a white-ball series later this month, saying that it is nothing short of an “insult”.
“This is a second-string Indian team and their coming here is an insult on our cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to television marketing needs,” Ranatunga, a government minister until two years ago, told reporters at his residence.
“India sent their best team to England and sent a weaker side to play here. I blame our board for that,” added the legendary batsman, who led Sri Lanka to the 1996 ODI world title.
Sri Lanka Cricket responded by saying that the touring squad is a seasoned one.
“Out of the 20-member India squad, 14 players have represented India across all formats or in some form and not a second string team as claimed,” the SLC stated.
(with agency inputs)