'Should focus on Sri Lanka cricket': Dasgupta calls Ranatunga's 'second-string side' comment 'disrespectful'
- Shikhar Dhawan was named the captain of the side while the team had experienced campaigners like Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. So Ranatunga's comments stirred a controversy.
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga had recently commented that Indian team management sending a 'second-string' is an insult to Sri Lankan cricket. With the players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah etc in England for the recently-concluded World Test Championship final and a Test series against the host nation, India decided to send a team with several young players to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series.
Shikhar Dhawan was named the captain of the side while the team had experienced campaigners like Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. So Ranatunga's comments stirred a controversy.
Former India wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta has reacted strongly to Ranatunga's comments. Dasgupta has said that even though he has a lot of respect for Ranatunga, he felt that his comments were disrespectful to the India team.
"This particular statement is not fair. I do understand that some of the top players like Virat, Rohit, Bumrah, Pant aren’t there. But if you take them out of the equation, you see most of the players in Sri Lanka are capped players. By no stretch of the imagination I would call it a ‘B’ side,” Dasgupta said on his YouTube channel.
"Secondly, calling a national side a ‘B’ side is disrespectful. If you are representing your country, then calling that side a ‘B’ side is disrespectful. It means you aren’t giving those players due respect and you are pulling them down. Also, most of the capped players will play the matches, apart from someone like a Varun Chakravarthy who is uncapped,” Dasgupta continued to say.
“I have a lot of respect for Arjuna Ranatunga. I think he is one of the best captains I have ever seen. He has taken Sri Lankan cricket to great heights. But it is time Arjuna Ranatunga should focus on Sri Lanka cricket because that will help world cricket. The way Sri Lanka have been playing for the last few years, that doesn’t help world cricket. A strong Sri Lankan team will help world cricket,” Dasgupta concluded.
First ODI between India and Sri Lanka takes place on July 13th.