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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

India vs Sri Lanka: How Dimuth Karunaratne plans to tackle R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja

Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne has revealed plans on how to tackle India spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

cricket Updated: Nov 11, 2017 17:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne plays shot during a warm-up match against Board President’s XI at Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Saturday.
Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne plays shot during a warm-up match against Board President’s XI at Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Saturday.(PTI)

Barring a left-arm spinner perhaps kept away deliberately, Sri Lanka had little reason to complain after the first day of the two-day practice tie against Board President’s XI here on Saturday.

“We know they will definitely play (Ravindra) Jadeja and maybe Kuldeep Yadav too (in the first Test at Eden Gardens beginning Thursday),” said opener Dimuth Karunaratne after Sri Lanka declared at 411/6.

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There isn’t much Sri Lanka can do about being denied practice against a left-armer but Karunaratne, who retired after a compact 50, said they have prepared as best as they could. And that includes training on dirt tracks back home.

Sri Lanka piling a mountain of runs is what was required, according to the opener.

“We need confidence because only Angelo (Mathews) and Rangana (Herath) have played here before. The best way to get confidence for a batsman is to get runs. This was a batting-friendly wicket where grass meant the ball wouldn’t turn much,” he said.

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‘Ton against India helped against Pakistan’

Karunaratne may not have played in India before but he comes having made 196 against Pakistan. That was his seventh Test ton. In the Test before that, Karunaratne made 93. Before Pakistan, he had made 141 against India in Colombo.

“That hundred helped me take a lot of confidence to the Tests against Pakistan. I was determined to get runs against India, especially R Ashwin, who is a wicket-taking bowler. I thought I will play the first five overs without taking risks but it wasn’t easy and so, I played a lot of reverse sweep which forced them to change their plans.

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“If you need to change the field, you need to do something extra. Otherwise, Jadeja and Ashwin are both hungry for wickets every time. So, when they bowl good line and lengths I stick to the basics. If I don’t give any chance, they will try to do something else. That’s my plan, to wait for the loose one from both spinners. If it’s not working then I will try something out of the box,” said Karunaratne.

The opener said he didn’t know much about the buzz that Chandika Hathurusinghe might join as Sri Lanka coach after having stepped down from that role with Bangladesh.

“I have no idea about it. I heard he is coming but it’s not confirmed yet. If he comes, it will be good for Sri Lankan cricket as he knows most of the guys. I also played under him during my provisional games,” he said.