India never played better in Lanka: Ranatunga

Ex-Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said India has never played better and paid tribute to the vision of India cricket administrators.

Written by Agencies | Colombo | Published: February 7, 2009 2:14:23 pm

Highly impressed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men’s attacking brand of cricket,former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said India has never played better here.

“They have never played better here,” Ranatunga said paying tribute to what he termed the vision of the Indian cricket administrators. “Their planning is good and they have set goals in their mind,” Ranatunga said.

India has already taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series against Sri Lanka and the final match is scheduled in Colombo on Sunday.

Dismissing notions that he had problems with the Indian Cricket Board during his 11-month tenure as the chief of Sri Lanka Cricket,Ranatunga said,”I had excellent relations with (former BCCI President) Mr (Sharad) Pawar and (current BCCI President) Mr Shashank Manohar”,Ranatunga said.

Ranatunga said he remained unimpressed by Twenty20 and believed Indian stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid struggled in Sri Lanka last year because of too much of Twenty20.

On Sri Lanka’s poor form,Ranatunga said the administrators were also to be blamed for the debacles. Insisting that the administrators should have ensured that the players maintain their focus,Ranatunga said,”This is due to unwanted and unprofessional people entering cricket administration.”

Never a fan of the Indian Premier League,Ranatunga also questioned the Sri Lankan players’ commitment to the nation. “Players must answer the question which is greater – your country,your parents or the money?” asked Ranatunga,referring to the players’ refusal to tour England in May in order to play in the Indian Premier League.

He felt Sri Lankan players were talented enough but the batting was not clicking at the moment.

“Our players are the most talented in the world. Without a doubt we have the best two spinners in the world (in Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis)…But the batsmen are not clicking,” Ranatunga said.

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