Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur on Wednesday downplayed the apparent exchange of heated words between him and skipper Dasun Shanaka following their ODI series defeat to India, saying it was a “very good debate”.
A ‘second-string’ Indian team, led by skipper Shikhar Dhawan, sealed the three-match series with a pulsating three-wicket win in Colombo on Tuesday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Following the loss, which Sri Lanka were favourites to win after reducing the visitors to 193/7 after 35 overs, Arthur was seen in a heated discussion with Shanaka – who made some questionable bowling decision towards the end of the run chase. He was also seen gesturing at the 29-year-old on the field from the dressing room.
In the video, which has gone viral on social media, Arthur was seen asking Shanaka to come off the field with him, with the captain refusing to comply.
“It was actually a very good debate, no need to make mischief out of it,” he said in reply to cricketer-turned-commentator Russel Arnold’s comment on Twitter that the exchange should have been held in the dressing room.
Sri Lanka went into the series with injuries and without batting coach Grant Flower who tested positive for Covid-19 on his return with the team from a tour of England where they lost both the ODI and Twenty20 series.
Top scorer Charith Asalanka, who made 65, said Sri Lanka thought they had won the game, but India's lower order fought back. "We thought we put up a good total (of 275), but we lost the plot along the way," Asalanka said.
After the hosts sent the flamboyant Indian batters packing early in the match, bowlers Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put on an unbeaten stand of 84 for the eighth wicket to secure India's win.
Chahar scored his maiden half-century, scoring 69 runs from 82 deliveries to get India over the line.
The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Friday and the three-match T20 series begins on Sunday.