Sri Lanka
Image Credits: Twitter

Even though India and Sri Lanka are separated by a large margin in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, Hardik Pandya won’t take them carelessly. The current number one T20I team in the world is India, whereas Asian champions Sri Lanka are placed eighth. 

Prior to the dramatic T20I on Tuesday in Mumbai, Sri Lanka and India last faced off at the Asia Cup 2022, when the latter team triumphed and exceeded expectations to win the tournament. 

IPL 2023 | Sri Lanka tour of India 2023 | Dream11 Prediction | Fantasy Cricket Tips | Cricket Match Prediction Today | Cricket News | Cricket Live Score | New Zealand tour of India 2023 | Australia tour of India 2023

Hardik Pandya Hails Sri Lankan Team

Hardik Pandya and Dasun Shanaka, IND vs SL, India vs Sri Lanka
Hardik Pandya and Dasun Shanaka (Credits: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya acknowledged this during a news conference prior to the game, noting that his team was ready to face a “exciting” Sri Lankan team under the leadership of Dasun Shanaka. 

“…they took the game away from us in the Asia Cup,” Pandya had said. “All the (SL) players that took the game away (from India) in the Asia Cup are the ones that are here. I am looking forward to make sure to stop them. They are a very exciting team. There is a lot of talent and emotion as well.

What happened in their country in the past given them more motivation to be in the zone and ready to do anything and everything possible. They played like a group. Sri Lanka is a very good team and we hope that our clash entertains everyone.” 

IPL 2023 | IND vs SL 2023 | India vs Sri Lanka 2023 | India National Cricket Team | IND vs NZ 2023 | India vs New Zealand 2023 | IND vs AUS 2023 | India vs Australia 2023

Hardik Pandya Is Actually Saying We Got To Stop These Players: Russell Arnold

Hardik Pandya’s remarks, in the opinion of Russell Arnold, are encouraging for the Sri Lankan team, which has, in his opinion, been struggling for a while.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (PC-Getty Images)

“Well from a Sri Lankan point of view, that is a positive because for a long time I cannot remember when a opposition team took note of Sri Lankan players,” former Sri Lanka cricketer Arnold said on Star Sports. 

He continued, “Hardik is actually saying we got to stop these players and looking at certain players, otherwise Sri Lanka haven’t been performing well and haven’t given a message out that they can come out here and win. So the way Hardik is coming out and saying things, they are taking note. So Sri Lanka need to build on that, and counter attack.” 

At the Wankhede Stadium, Sri Lanka battled valiantly in the first game of the series, limiting India to 162/5 before nearly chasing it down before being dismissed for 160. 

Sri Lanka Does Not Have X-Factors Like Indian Team: Russell Arnold

Arnold emphasised that despite Sri Lanka’s team lacks “X-factors” like India’s has, they still perform effectively as a unit.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga. Pic Credits: Twitter

“Just go out there and play the game they have been playing right through. Of course, Sri Lanka doesn’t have x-factors like an Indian team, let’s face it, maybe a Hasaranga.

But as a team collectively, they are good. They all have to stand up and counter the threat especially the tactics of Hardik Pandya who will try to hit them hard and rock them early” he said. 

 Also Read: PAK vs NZ: “I Want To Be There To Have Another Crack”- Trent Boult Shares His Intentions On ODI World Cup in 2023

Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah