'That was an unwanted comment from a great cricketer' - Ex India selector on Arjuna Ranatunga's 'second-string' Indian side statement

‘That was an unwanted comment from a great cricketer’ – Ex India selector on Arjuna Ranatunga’s ‘second-string’ Indian side statement

The Sri Lanka-India series will kick off on July 18.

Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga. (Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)

Former India left-arm spinner Venkapathy Raju stated that Arjuna Ranatunga’s comment on India was not a fine one. While India was preparing to face the Lankan side in the island nation, 1996 World Cup-winning former Lanka player Ranatunga added that a ‘second-string Indian side’ would be playing against them and it is a sort of insult. In the same sequence of events, Raju added that Ranatunga’s comment was an unwanted one.

It has to be noted that India’s main squad is currently on the tour to the UK and hence, a relatively younger squad comprising of six uncapped Indians was sent for the white-ball duties. While ace batsman Shikhar Dhawan was asked to lead the side, former legendary batsman Rahul Dravid was called by BCCI to take the role of the head coach for this tour in particular.

Raju who has played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs for India feels that Ranatunga shouldn’t have given this comment and as there are many players on the touring side who can make a fine impact at the international level. The former spinner was also part of the selection committee that picked players for the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup. In fact, he added that Ranatunga should be happy as in these testing hours, India is travelling the island nation to play

Arjuna Ranatunga should have been happy that India is touring Lanka during testing hours reckons Raju

“I’m not a firm believer of this word ‘second-string’. They are all aspiring cricketers; you can’t really call them second-string. That’s were Ranatunga went wrong. He should not have said second-string. That was an unwanted comment from such a great cricketer.”

“He should have been happy that a team is coming and touring Sri Lanka during these tough times. Sri Lanka are also trying to form a team, try youngsters for the T20 World Cup. So, I was a little surprised that such a senior and great cricketer would refer to this Indian side as a second-string. People are waiting for cricket to happen,” stated Raju in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times.

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