The ‘Men-in-Blue’ are all set to face Sri Lanka in the first series of 2023 as they will lock horns with them in a three-match T20I series and a three-match ODI series starting 3rd January. Ahead of the series, former Indian cricketer, Irfan Pathan has warned team India to not take Sri Lanka lightly.
While previewing the series, on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’, Pathan opined that Hardik Pandya and co should be wary of the Lankan Lions.
“Sri Lanka is not that bad a team. We know what they did in the Asia Cup. They really did well. We have to be careful,” Pathan said.
The former Indian pacer also named a few Sri Lankan players who could prove to be a serious threat to India.
“I really feel that Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga as well as Lahiru Kumara – who has got express pace, Maheesh Theekshana – these four-five guys can be real threats. Their captain Dasun Shanaka, I quite like that pick, he is fearless. He has got that long handle as well when he bats,” he added.
Sri Lanka had knocked out India in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup as they beat them by six wickets in Dubai. Dasun Shanaka was awarded ‘Player of the Match’ in that game who picked up two wickets in as many overs and then played a brilliant knock of an unbeaten 33 off just 18 balls to help his side achieve a 174-run target with one ball to spare.
I was extremely impressed with his approach: Irfan Pathan
The former seam-bowling all-rounder further showered praise on Hardik Pandya’s captaincy and advised team management to take care of his fitness in the long-term.
“The captaincy Hardik has done, whether it was for the Gujarat franchise in the Indian T20 League or at the start for India, I felt the communication was extremely good. He was seen as very agile,” Pathan said.
“When there was talk about his captaincy, I was extremely impressed with his approach but along with that India will have to keep in mind that if you are making him the long-term captain, they will have to concentrate a lot on his fitness, whether you talk about him or the team management. It will be very crucial going ahead,” he added.
Apart from leading India in T20IS, Pandya has also been appointed as the vice-captain of the ODI squad.
Leave a Reply