In recent times, Sri Lanka cricket team’s fortunes have been pretty unstable as after winning the Test series against Pakistan by 2-0 they were whitewashed in ODIs and T20Is.
Now the Lankans will soon we facing Team India later this month, against whom they lost 9-0 on their home turf before the Pakistan tour. In order give the hosts a tough competition, the Islanders need to find a plan to tackle the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The two bowlers played a crucial role in defeating Sri Lanka at home couple of months back.
During a recent chat with Cricbuzz, Sri Lankan batsman Dimuth Karunaratne said, “Generally, the off-spinner poses the biggest threat for a left-hander, but on wickets that turn, the most difficult thing is to play the ball that comes into you. So Jadeja will the bigger challenge for me. I have scoring options against him, but Ashwin is a smart bowler. He rarely bowls a loose delivery.”
He further added, “You have to be smarter against Ashwin. There’s no point of adopting a counter-attack approach against Ashwin. If you do that, he will get you. You have to be solid against him. You have to keep your ego away when you are playing him. You have to respect him. Ashwin always wants to get wickets. When you deny him the wickets, then he will go to other options. You have to cash in when he loses patience and when he comes on for his third spell or so.”
Karunaratne has played some good innings in Test cricket this year as he scored as many as 960 runs this year, and is third in the list of highest run-scorers of 2017 and will be looking to continue his good run in India too.
Talking about the challenges in Indian conditions, Dimuth said, “We have a three-day break before we leave to India and we have eight days in India before the first Test and we need to make most of it. I have played little cricket in India. The last time I played there was in 2005 with the Under-19 team. No idea what to expect there so I am watching some videos.”
Karunaratne concluded, “I am watching how Alastair Cook batted in India. I am also taking a look at footage of how other left-handed openers like Matt Renshaw and Tom Latham went about things in India and hopefully that will come in handy. The SG ball that will be used will be tougher than the Duke ball. It will be a tough task to adjust to the bounce and seam. Your character gets tested in places like Australia and India and I am looking forward to that challenge.”