For some weird and oblivious reason, Arjuna Ranatunga made a premature and asinine comment that said that India sending their second string squad to Sri Lanka was an affront to the Lankan modesty.
Sadly, it seems that the Indian cricketers were more in contention with each other about who could do better as the WT20 looms in a few months.
" This is a second string Indian team and their coming here is an insult on our cricket " ~ Ranatunga
And That Team chased down 260+ target in just 37 Overs
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) July 18, 2021
Sri Lanka started their innings with a roar, thanks to some boisterous hard-hitting by Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka.
Chahal applied the first brake as he scalped the all-important figure of Fernando with Manish Pandey pulling off a simple take.
This was followed by another decent partnership from the Lankans but Kuldeep Yadav struck twice in a span of four balls to send Sri Lanka rocking and reeling.
A modest contest of the willow and the leather saw Sri Lanka piling up a total of 262 for the loss of 9 wickets on the cards. Some late heroics from Chamika Karunaratne and skipper, Dasun Shanaka kept the hosts afloat while Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzi Chahal plundered six wickets between them.
Coming to bat, India was off to a flyer riding on the back of a stoked up Shaw. He hammered nine boundaries to garner 43 from 24 balls before being finally dismissed by de Silva.
Haplessly for the Lankans, this was justthe beginning of their end as Ishan Kishan started his international career with a bang, scoring 10 runs of the two opening deliveries that he faced.
Birthday boy, Kishan fired an exuberant 59 from 42 balls to mark a sensational debut. A skitter from Lakshan claimed Kishan’s scalp as Bhanuka completed a safe and tough take.
It felt like a reahearsal for Indians on the field as Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav and the captain, Dhawan roared to life, beating Sri Lanka by 7 wickets.
Dhawan stayed unbeaten on 86 while SKY played a blitzkreig of 31 runs from 20 balls.
This makes us wonder whether Ranatunga’s statement of India’s second squad was highly dubious?
A team that manages to seal a victory with 13.1 overs to spare, they can be anything but the second string.
More importantly, Ranatunga should know that irrespective of the strength of the opposition’s squad, defeats like this are a bigger insult to the team’s once shining shield.