Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, SSC, Colombo July 27, 2008

Ranatunga slams India's 'Twenty20' approach

Cricinfo staff

Arjuna Ranatunga: "I think they (India) were not prepared for Test cricket" © AFP

After India's massive innnings and 239-run defeat in the first Test in Colombo, Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan captain, has criticised India's batsmen for playing in the Twenty20 mode and said they lacked focus.

"The way the Indians have played this Test is an eye-opener not just for us but for all cricket-playing countries," he told the Indian Express. "They dealt with this like a Twenty20 game. I think they were not prepared for Test cricket." He was speaking after India were bowled out twice in about four sessions of play, with the Sri Lankan spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis sharing 19 wickets.

Ranatunga wanted India to focus more on Tests than on Twenty20s. "If the Indians keep getting their priorities wrong, they will go down ranking-wise. Ultimately, it is the rank that is very important," he said. "And it is this performance that will determine the future of the game in your country. Focusing on the Twenty20 game is a short-term thing. If the game is not protected, we are in for a major disaster.

"The Indian batsmen aren't too focussed. That is something that can creep into our cricket. That is something I don't want to happen," he said. Ranatunga has repeatedly stressed that while Twenty20 generates much-needed money, playing Test cricket and representing your country should remain the priority .

India have four days to recover from the loss - their third heaviest - before the second Test starts in Galle.