How Roshen Silva resisted Dickwella temptations


Roshen Silva plays a shot during the fifth day of third Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on December 6, 2017.

Rex Clementine
reporting from Delhi

Rookie Roshen Silva ended a long wait for his Test debut and got off to an inauspicious start when he was dismissed for a duck in the first innings in Delhi. But he bounced back and produced a math saving 74 in the second innings and was hailed by team-mates for the resolve he showed.

While he was focusing on saving the game, there was a slight distraction from Niroshan Dickwella, who reminded him of other possibilities.

"With 30 minutes to stumps, I was drinking water. I was convinced that we had done the job. Kohli was losing patience we could see. Dickwella then came up and asked are you going for the hundred. I told him look here, saving the Test match is of paramount importance. You never know. Going for personal milestones, if you lose a wicket, that’s it. This is a funny game. This is a very clever Indian team. I told him forget about the hundred, we will close shop here," Silva, who has played over 100 First Class games told The Island.

Dickwella with his antics may not impress some, but the authorities should take a note the positive nature with which he plays his cricket. Beneath the brash youngster, there could be a Sri Lankan captain waiting.

"He is a positive guy. His idea was that scoring a maiden hundred that too in India was a huge effort. We had to score 117 runs in 50 minutes to get to the target of 410. He was ready to go for it," Silva explained.

"But I told him, ‘Look here. Drawing a game in India is as good as winning’. Dickwella is a positive guy. He wants to change a game always. I can’t play like him. I can’t play scoops, I can’t play flicks. He makes it look so easy. When he does that, the other team goes on the back foot. He certainly takes pressure off me. That’s important," noted Silva.

Silva was under pressure after his first innings duck and on a fifth day wicket, against world’s best team, it was a tough effort. "Thank God I hit that boundary. No one expects to score a duck on debut. I had no clue what happened as I faced only three balls. Since I had been waiting for this opportunity for years, I badly wanted to do well. We wanted to do something special. We actually wanted to win. I wanted to bat for as long as I can. All four bowlers are quality bowlers. When you stay on the wicket for some time, you realize that how the ball is going to behave."

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