Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag hits back at Arjuna Ranatunga for criticizing Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as they accepted to play against India without their regular international stars. Ranatunga called it India B and wasn’t in favour of playing against a rather inexperienced team.
Sehwag targeted Ranatunga after India comprehensively defeated Sri Lanka in the One-Day International series opener in Colombo. He has said Ranatunga’s comments were rude and India have a great depth of players because of the Indian Premier League.
“Arjuna Ranatunga was a bit rude in saying what he did. He might think this is a ‘B’ team. The strength of Indian cricket is such that you can send any team. It will not be a ‘B’ team. This is perhaps the benefit of the IPL. We have so much talent that we cannot accumulate in a single team. This team is equally talented,” said Sehwag.
He further went on to say SLC should be thankful to BCCI to go ahead with the series despite having the first team in England for the scheduled Test series.
“What he is calling a ‘B’ team. Do not accept that. If these players play against the current players in England, they will defeat them in a few games too. I do not think this is a ‘B’ team. The Sri Lankan Board (SLB) should instead be thanking the Indian board. That is for even sending the team to place the series in the first place. The BCCI could have easily said, ‘We are unavailable, let us have this tour sometime else’,” he further added.
“They should be grateful for this team. The team that will financially help the board and its players. If the Indian team had not gone there, SLB would have lost funds and sponsorships for all six games.”
Team India won the first ODI by seven wickets with 80 balls to spare. After restricting Sri Lanka to 262/9, Indian batsmen came out with all guns blazing. Prithvi Shaw set the platform early before Ishan Kishan and Shikhar Dhawan finished what was the mere formality.