The three-match One Day series between India and Sri Lanka is finally set to kickstart from July 18 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Sri Lanka tour is historic for India in many ways as the visitors will be playing with a second-string Indian team. India is missing the services of a lot of main players including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and many more.
In the absence of the aforementioned players, a lot of cricket fans and analysts have backed the stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan and all-rounder Hardik Pandya to deliver some extraordinary performances. However, former Sri Lanka batsman Russel Arnold surprised everyone by naming his x-factor in the Indian team.
During an interview with Hindustan Times, Arnold backed young opening batsman Prithvi Shaw to be the difference between India and Sri Lanka during the limited-overs tour. The Sri Lanka veteran believes that Shaw can spring a surprise for the cricket fraternity by outshining everyone in the Indian camp. For Sri Lanka, Arnold named Avishka Fernando as the player to watch out for.
Shaw will be entering the contest against Sri Lanka after a phenomenal performance in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals. The youngster made headlines with his attractive strokeplay and the ability to hit every ball out of the park during IPL 2021.
Arnold also opened up on the debate surrounding BCCI sending a second-string Indian side to Sri Lanka. Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga had opened a discussion in the cricket fraternity saying that it is an insult to the island nation to play against India B. Notably, most of the main Indian players have traveled to the United Kingdom to participate in the five-match Test series against England.
When Arnold was asked to express his views on the India B team, the veteran reckoned that India have good bench strength. Arnold also believes that the Indian team that has traveled to Sri Lanka includes a handful of experienced and notable cricketers.
“I just feel jealous that India have those cricketers. Even this team, we’ve seen them play. We’ve seen the quality they bring. There is a lot of experience too in Shikhar Dhawan, the Pandyas, spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. There’s a lot of exciting prospects,” Arnold concluded.