SL vs IND | The first ODI seemed like a University team vs School team match, claims Ramiz Raja

Renowned expert Ramiz Raja termed Sri Lanka’s performance in the first ODI against India a ‘flop show’, and claimed that the game seemed ‘like a University team vs School team match.’ Raja also observed that the young Sri Lankan batters looked clueless against the Indian spinners.

A fortnight ago, former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga slammed the SLC for inviting a ‘second string’ Indian side to the country, but on Sunday, it was the hosts that got schooled as team India chased down 263 with nearly 14 overs to spare to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. Post the first hour of play, the hosts lost control of the game, after which they were bulldozed by the Indians. Sri Lanka crawled their way towards 262, but the total was made to look 100 smaller than what it was by the visitors, who lost just 3 wickets en-route a dominant win.

Reviewing the game, renowned expert and former cricketer Ramiz Raja mocked the Lankan side, claiming that the contest seemed like a ‘University team vs School team’ match.

“India vs Sri Lanka seemed like a University team vs School team match. Such was the difference between the skills, execution, talent and the ability to understand the game. This is a very challenging situation for Sri Lankan cricket because they were playing at home. They prepared a flat pitch for the series opener against India and still ended with an average score,” Ramiz Raja said in his YouTube video, reported HT.

It was death by spin for Sri Lanka, as the Indian spin trio of Kuldeep, Chahal and Krunal Pandya accounted for 5 of the 9 wickets to fall. Krunal, in fact, conceded just 26 runs off his 10 overs, and strangled the Lankan batsmen in the middle overs. Raja noted that, unlike the Lankan cricketers of the yesteryear, the current bunch are not adept at playing spinners.

“The way Sri Lanka played against spin, it looked like they had no idea how to tackle spin. Historically, Sri Lankan batsmen have dominated the spinners. However, the current lot just does not seem to be on that level yet.

“The Sri Lanka batters looked confused after getting a start. They couldn’t understand how to change the gear. And this confusion was created by India’s outstanding bowling performance. India didn’t have to push much as the challenge wasn’t tough.”

Sri Lanka were never in the game with the ball as after being shaken by a Prithvi Shaw cameo, the duo of Ishan Kishan and Shikhar Dhawan played contrasting knocks to take India home. Raja labelled the hosts’ performance in the first ODI a ‘flop show’.

“The game was one-sided. Sri Lanka produced a flop show. I don’t know whether watching them in future would be interesting. Everything about them seemed in slow motion – a team is playing against a side that felt like no challenge was being thrown at them,” Raja concluded.

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