Dimuth hails Batting Coach Hashan


Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne (L) chats to Batting Coach Hashan Thilakaratne.(Picture Credit: The Papare.com)

Rex Clementine reporting from Dubai

Sri Lanka’s hero in the Test series win over Pakistan in UAE, Dimuth Karunaratne has hailed the contributions of the team’s batting coach Hashsan Thilakaratne. Karunaratne was named Player of the Series after he compiled more than 300 runs in four innings at an average of 76 that included a career best score of 196 in Dubai.

Speaking to ‘The Island’ after his match-winning knock on Tuesday as Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series win, Karunaratne said that working with Thilakaratne helped him to expand his game.

"He was a quality player and has lot of experience. His thinking is quite different from other coaches. More than a foreign coach, having a coach of our own is good as he knows what to expect from the conditions. His record as a batsman is marvelous and (he) knows what to do," said Karunaratne.

When asked what exactly the former captain has been working with him, Karunaratne said, "We talk to him on how to play spin. If you take the next few series we have they are against India, Bangladesh, South Africa and England. All these series will be in sub-continent conditions where the wicket will turn. So I train a lot against spinners.

"Usually he gives us underprepared wickets to bat on, or gravel roads. His thinking is that when we play in tougher conditions, we will be better equipped to handle spin. I played Provincial cricket under him and his thinking as a coach is superb," noted Karunaratne.

Karunaratne was Sri Lanka’s highest run-getter in the last series against India as well. This year he has scored over 900 runs with three centuries and three 50s.

"My job is play out the new ball. That is the toughest thing to do as an opener. Once you do that while the others cash in, you also need to get some runs for yourself. Kumar (Sangakkara) once asked me why you do the tough job and then get out, rather than going onto make a big one," Karunaratne added.

Karunaratne said a few technical changes have helped him to score some big runs. "I had some issues with the new ball. My head was falling over. I had that issue from the time I was playing for school. I have worked on that area and rectified the errors. I am usually not troubled by spin bowling, not much to change there. Once I survive the new ball I know what’s to be done," Karunaratne went onto say.

In Dubai he was on the verge of making a maiden double-hundred, but was dismissed by Wahab Riaz, four runs short of the milestone.

"I had a few areas to work on in batting against left-arm quicks. My technique needs to improve. I still have a few issues when they bring the ball back in. I play with two minds. If I am able to rectify that I will get better off," noted Karunaratne.

Expressing his thoughts on missing out on a double, he said, "Very disappointed with that dismissal. I knew that was Wahab’s last over. I wanted the strike back so that I could attack the leg-spinner in the next over. I knew I could score off him and wanted a single. I didn’t expect him to cut the ball in."

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