Shikhar Dhawan and Co. are all set to play three ODIs and as many T20 internationals against Sri Lanka, starting July 13. The team has landed in the Island nation and is currently preparing for the series.
Ahead of the first ODI, there are a lot of question marks over India’s playing XI, bowling combinations and the opening combination etc. Given that most of the senior members in the squad are currently in England, the onus would be on the likes of Dhawan, Bhuwaneshwar Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya among others to guide the team to victory.
The upcoming three-match T20 series will mark the last T20 international series before the World Cup. The players would be aware of that and would want to leave a telling impression on the minds of the selectors with their performances.
Ranatunga’s calls Indian squad in Sri Lanka as a “second string” side
Amidst all this, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga came down heavily at the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for conducting the series. The former Sri Lankan cricketer criticised the administrators for inviting a “second-string” Indian side just for monetary gains. In his argument, he stated that the touring Indian side is a “second-string team” and inviting them to play a series is an insult for Sri Lankan cricket.
"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 had said.
SLC issues statement, calls Indian side a “strong squad”
Sri Lankan Cricket Board wasn’t too pleased with Ranatunga’s comments and issued a statement on Friday clarifying that India have sent a “strong squad” to play the limited overs series against the hosts.
The Board mentioned that out of the 20-member squad, 14 players have already donned the Indian jersey in some format or the other. As per their remarks, the touring side can’t be considered as a second-string side.