Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has backed India’s decision to include five debutants against Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI in Colombo. With the series already won, Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson, Chetan Sakariya, Rahul Chahar and Krishnappa Gowtham were included in the playing XI.
The team lost the game by three wickets in the end. India had won the first two ODIs against the hosts. The visitors lost the plot in the middle overs and managed just 225 runs. Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored half-centuries for Sri Lanka as they eventually chased the target with eight overs left.
“5 players were handed debuts for the third ODI which is a very good thing. It was a great decision taken by the management. Though they have won the series already, there are not many teams in Asia that take the field with such a mentality.
“Several teams select their final XI in a reserved manner despite winning the series. They have a timid approach for introducing fresh talent, with a fear of losing the game. But you won’t expect such things when Rahul Dravid is around,” he said.
“The reason is – he has a completely different mindset. A win or loss doesn’t bother him much. He might have got the directive to test the bench strength, especially after capturing the series. So that, the canvas of Indian cricket gets bigger and new players could be introduced who can serve the country in future,” he added.