Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal believes that India have the bench strength to field three international teams simultaneously, and is certain that the Men in Blue would beat Sri Lanka even with their ‘C’ team. Akmal believes that India are reaping the rewards for investing in grass-root cricket.
It was not too long ago that Sri Lanka were a menacing force in international cricket, but things have changed now. The retirements of behemoths such as Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan, half a decade ago, dissolved the core of the side but such has been the impact of the same that six years on, the team is still struggling to come to terms with the same, thanks to the transition being unsuccessful. The Lankans did not make it out of the group stages in the 2019 World Cup and are currently the bottom-placed side in the ODI Super League, below all of Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan, with just 8 points to their name.
Earlier this week, they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Bangladesh and according to former Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, in the current state SL find themselves in, the Lankans will end up losing to even the Indian ‘C’ side.
"Even if India sends a C team to Sri Lanka they will win. The Lankans recently lost to Bangladesh," Times Now quoted Akmal as saying.
India are expected to tour Sri Lanka in July for a white-ball series with their ‘B’ side, but Akmal believes that the ludicrous depth in Indian cricket could enable the Men in Blue to field up to three international teams, simultaneously. Akmal praised the investment the BCCI have made at the grass-root level, and believes that Rahul Dravid, through his mentorship of youngsters, has taken Indian cricket to a whole new level.
"Full credit to India's mindset. Two teams will be playing at a time soon, one in England and one in Sri Lanka. Their cricket culture is so strong that they can field three international teams at the same time. This is because they have made no compromises at the grassroot level.
"Rahul Dravid has been working with the BCCI for seven-eight years I think, and look where he has taken Indian cricket. Dravid has readied players for international cricket at the grassroot level. Then, in the Indian team, Ravi Shastri has guided them really well as head coach," he added,” Akmal said.