'It is like an IPL All-Stars XI ': Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur says Sri Lanka have 'no illusion' regarding Indian team

  • For Arjuna Ranatunga, the Indian cricket team that is currently in Sri Lanka to play six limited-overs matches may be a 'second string' unit, but head coach Micky Arthur has no such perceptions.
Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan. (Getty Images)
Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan. (Getty Images)
Published on Jul 14, 2021 05:39 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

For Arjuna Ranatunga, the Indian cricket team that is currently in Sri Lanka to play six limited-overs matches may be a 'second string' unit, but head coach Micky Arthur has no such perceptions. In fact, Arthur feels the Indian squad possess a bunch of talented youngsters and will be challenging for the home team to square off against.

The Indian team will be without the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant among others, who are in England for the five-Test series starting first week of August. A separate squad which is intended only for ODIs and T20Is, was sent to Sri Lanka, which is captained by Shikhar Dhawan, coached by Rahul Dravid and have some of the most promising young cricketers taking part in the tournament.

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"We are under no illusion because we know this is a wonderful Indian team. The Indian team is amazing; they have got so many good cricketers - it is like an IPL All-Stars XI. They are an incredible bunch of players," Arthur told Sportstar.

"For us, it is very much about giving game time to young players, looking at possible combinations going forward. We are very much in a transitional phase at the moment. We are trying out a lot of young players and trying out our best combinations."

Arthur reflected on Sri Lanka's recent tour of England, where they were whitewashed 0-3 in the T20Is and lost the ODI series 0-2. Arthur, a former Pakistan coach, revealed it was one of his toughest assignments as an international coach, terming the tour ‘incredibly challenging’.

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"It was incredibly challenging. We had gone down a route of trying to get a vision for the 2023 World Cup, and trying to give the young players some opportunities. But around that, you also need some experienced players," Arthur added.

"We lost our No. 1, 4, 5 in one go, when they decided to go out and walk around Durham. It was really tough for us and we did a lot of soul searching in England. It was one of the toughest tours I have had in my 12 years as international coach."

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