Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said on Thursday that his on-field spat with coach Mickey Arthur in the second ODI against India was about tactics.
Speaking for the first time about the animated exchange of words caught on camera soon after losing the three-match series to India on Tuesday, Shanaka said Arthur should not have done it publicly.
“This is something that should have happened in the dressing room,” Shanaka told reporters in Colombo. “He [Arthur] wanted to know if I deviated from the agreed plan and I said no.”
He said the coach questioned if he had changed tactics they had agreed before the match.
“There was no heated exchange,” Shanaka said. “I explained what happened. I said I did not change plans and there was no deviation.”
India passed Sri Lanka’s 275-9 with five balls to spare in Colombo on Tuesday to record a win that gave them a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka’s South African coach was seen exchanging heated words with Shanaka and gesturing at the captain on the field after the game they lost by three wickets.
He appeared to indicate that Shanaka should go with him off the field but the captain did not budge while Arthur walked away, in a video widely shared on social media.
Arthur called it a “good debate” when social media posts criticised his actions.
“It was actually a very good debate, no need to make mischief out of it,” Arthur said on Twitter responding to match commentator Russel Arnold’s comment 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 T20I series.
From 193-7, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put on an unbeaten stand of 84 for the eighth wicket to secure India’s win.
Shanaka said Sri Lanka were hopeful of improving on their performance for the third and final ODI on Friday.
© Agence France-Presse