Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has asserted that his side won't take the second-string Indian squad lightly in the upcoming three-match ODI and T20I series. Sri Lanka are aware of the Indian team's potential and the coach believes the Indian team is almost like an 'IPL All-Stars XI.'
India's tour of Sri Lanka kicks off with the first ODI on 18 July 2021 and will come to a close with the third T20I on 29 July 2021. Mickey Arthur is looking at this series as a wonderful opportunity to try out different combinations and offer game time to the youngsters.
Speaking to Sportstar in an interview, Mickey Arthur said:
"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," he added.
One of the toughest tours I have had in my 12 years as international coach: Mickey Arthur on Sri Lanka's tour of England
Sri Lanka had a forgettable tour of England recently where they were whitewashed in the T20Is and lost the three-match ODI series 2-0. Mickey Arthur termed the tour 'incredibly challenging' and added that things only got worse when Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka were sent home for breaching the bio-bubble.
Mickey Arthur claimed it was one of the most strenuous tours he had ever been on as an international coach.
"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 international coach," he concluded.
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Mickey Arthur also said that Sri Lanka can't be in a transition forever and wants the team to reach a point where the players can be trusted and backed.