India dismiss 'B-team' claims on Sri Lanka tour

New Delhi (AFP) –


India batsman Suryakumar Yadav on Wednesday shrugged off complaints that only a weakened side had been sent to Sri Lanka for a limited overs tour.

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga slammed the island's sports leaders for agreeing to the tour by a "B Team" Indian side without top stars Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant.

The team led by opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan will play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches starting July 13.

Yadav insisted that Ranatunga's comments had not affected the squad as it prepares.

"Everyone is completely focused, the way the practice sessions are going," Yadav told a virtual news conference.

"We are really excited and ready for that challenge," he added.

"We are just here to have some fun, enjoy this series and take a lot of positives from here."

Ranatunga, 57, said the tour undermined the country's "dignity" as he attacked Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka Cricket.

Kohli is leading the full strength India side preparing for five Tests in England starting next month.

Yadav is among a host of players in Sri Lanka looking to impress selectors before the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October-November.

"It's a great opportunity for everyone having a tour amid this situation," said Yadav, who plays for five-time champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

"It's a great challenge and responsibility for each and every one to come out here and express themselves," he added. "I am excited and looking forward to it."