In a rare occurrence, two Indian cricket teams, in different parts of the world, will be taking on two different opponents in Tests and ODIs. While the Test squad is in England for the red-ball tour, a limited-overs squad team has traveled to Sri Lanka to participate in white-ball matches.
BCCI sending a second team to Sri Lanka which is devoid of superstars including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja among others who are in England, hasn’t gone down well with former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who asserted that it is an insult for Sri Lanka that a B team will be playing against them.
The statement by Sri Lanka’s world cup winning skipper was met with a lot of criticism in the cricket fraternity. Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta also disagrees with Ranatunga’s comments saying he won’t call the team traveling to Sri Lanka a second-strong side.
Though the keeper admitted that many of the first-choice players are in the UK, Dasgupta highlighted the presence of a lot of capped players on the Sri Lanka tour including the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and others.
“I would not call this side a second-string side with no stretch of the imagination. Secondly, I think it is disrespectful to call any national team a B side. If you are representing your national team at the highest level then calling it a B side is disrespectful,” Dasgupta said on his Youtube channel.
Dasgupta also claimed that the cricket fraternity will now see the teams playing white-ball and red-ball cricket simultaneously more often due to the pandemic.
Further, Dasgupta advised Sri Lanka to focus on their own team and look at the ways to produce players like they used to do before. The Sri Lanka cricket team is undergoing tough times. The team was recently up against England where they lost all but one game which was abandoned due to rain.