Aravinda de Silva, former Sri Lanka cricketer who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning squad in 1996 under Arjuna Ranatunga, has disagreed with his former skipper.
Arjuna Ranatunga might have sparked off a controversy with his India ‘B-team’ comment earlier this week, but his former Sri Lanka teammate Aravinda de Silva feels the Sri Lankan side shouldn’t take India lightly.
Aravinda de Silva: It Will Be A Challenge For Sri Lanka To Beat India And Sri Lanka Can Take Confidence In T20 World Cup If They Beat India
A few days back, Arjuna Ranatunga made a claim that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) shouldn’t have allowed the Indian tour to take place as they were sending a second-string side. He termed it as an insult to Sri Lankan cricket.
However, since his comments came, many ex-players and experts of the cricket fraternity have pointed out that this team is in no way a second-string unit, considering that it has white-ball specialists, who otherwise would be playing in ODIs and T20Is for India.
“There is no way we can call this a second-string Indian side. India has enormous talent and this side is as good as any. In fact, it will be a challenge for us to beat this Indian team,” Aravinda de Silva, who is also Sri Lanka Cricket’s cricket committee chairman, said during a media session ahead of the limited-overs series to be broadcast on Sony Sports from July 13.
“We can take an enormous amount of confidence going into the T20 World Cup (later this year) if we can beat India.”
India is fielding two sides simultaneously – the Test squad will face England next month while the limited-overs side captained by Shikhar Dhawan will take on Lanka. It is worth noting that, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav are all regulars in the Indian white-ball team for the past few years.
A total of six new players have been added to the squad — Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy, and Nitish Rana. A total of five net bowlers have also been added — Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simranjeeet Singh.
Aravinda de Silva: Fielding Two Teams Could Be International Cricket’s Future
Aravinda de Silva said this ploy could be the future due to the never-ending Covid-19 pandemic.
“Bubble-life is very challenging for the players. It takes a toll mentally. So it is not only India but other countries too are rotating players to give them time to spend with their families. I believe fielding two teams could be the future of international cricket,” the former Sri Lanka captain said.
Aravinda de Silva said Rahul Dravid’s disciplined approach to the game will rub off on the players.
“Dravid has instilled the knowledge and strategy in them. Similarly, we have been trying to convince Mahela Jayawardene to take up the role of SL U-19 coach but couldn’t find any success,” he said.
The former legendary Sri Lankan batsman also praised India’s head coach for the tour, Rahul Dravid. He also hinted that Sri Lanka Cricket is trying to get former veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene to play a similar role that Rahul Dravid has been doing for India.