SL coach Mickey Arthur
Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur has asserted that his side will not be taking the second-string Indian team lightly in the upcoming ODI and T20I series on home soil.

With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and several other all-format cricketers currently in England for the upcoming Test series, the selectors have picked quite a few youngsters in the squad for the ODI and T20I rubbers, starting July 18.

Terming the Indian squad as an ‘IPL All-Star XI’, Arthur heaped high praise on the incredible skill of the visiting players besides adding that the Sri Lankan team are under no illusion that the Indian team sans Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja will be easy to beat.

Rahul Dravid, Shikhar Dhawan
India Head Coach Rahul Dravid and Captain Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo: BCCI)

Arthur further added that the Sri Lankans will be using the ODI and T20I series against India to try out young players and hopefully zero in on an ideal combination.

“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.” 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, and for us, it is very much about giving game time to young players, looking at possible combinations going forward,” Mickey Arthur told Sportstar.

‘England tour was one of the toughest tours I have had in my 12 years as international coach’- Mickey Arthur

Mickey Arthur, England v Sri Lanka -3rd ODI match prediction
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

The Sri Lankan cricket team has suffered an unreal decline in the past few years, the nadir of which was truly witnessed by everyone during their recent trip to England.

More than the results- 0-3 in T20Is and 0-2 in ODIs- it was the manner in which Sri Lanka suffered one defeat after another which was truly heartbreaking.

Arthur, who has coached teams like South Africa, Australia, Pakistan in the past, admitted that the England tour was one of the toughest assignments in his 12-years stint as a cricket coach.

Mickey Arthur further added that what made things worse for the touring party was the bubble breach from three of its senior players- Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka- before the ODI series commenced.

It Is Like An IPL All-Stars XI: Mickey Arthur Lauds The Shikhar Dhawan-Led Team India It Is Like An IPL All-Stars XI: Mickey Arthur Lauds The Shikhar Dhawan-Led Team India It Is Like An IPL All-Stars XI: Mickey Arthur Lauds The Shikhar Dhawan-Led Team India It Is Like An IPL All-Stars XI: Mickey Arthur Lauds The Shikhar Dhawan-Led Team India

“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. Then 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 an international coach,” he concluded.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.