It was for the very first time in his Test career that Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne broke into the top 10 of the latest ICC Test Rankings for batsmen.
Resolute Karunaratne scored a fighting century in the first Test against South Africa. He followed it up with another fine half-century in the second innings at the Galle International Stadium. The southpaw has now set new heights of achieving a personal goal. He hopes of reaching at least 20-25 Test centuries before bidding adieu to the longest version of the game.
The southpaw Karunaratne was undoubtedly the best batsman of the just concluded two-match series against the Proteas. Overall, the series was dominated by the spinners. He eventually ended up scoring 356 runs and went past 50 in each of the four innings.
Interestingly, his tally was around three times more what his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis managed throughout the series.
Karunaratne has also scored eight Test centuries so far:
The quality batsman Karunaratne has smashed eight Test centuries so far. He has smashed centuries against Bangladesh, India, South Africa and Pakistan at the start of 2017.
“My personal goal that I would be happy with is to get to 20 to 25 Test hundreds, and hopefully one day I will get there,” he said at the end of the second Test in Colombo. “I want to be a match-winning performer and give my best. When I do that ranking will automatically come,” he concluded.
It was not long ago that the reliable opening batsman Karunaratne had to miss the Test series in Windies. It was due to lack of match practice.
The left-handed batsman Karunaratne was just recovering from the head injury he suffered back in May. Instead, the cricketer was sent to Bangladesh for the two unofficial Tests.
I was fit when Windies series started:
“Actually, when the West Indies Tests started, I was fit. But I didn’t have any match practice behind me. So the selectors told me to be fit for South Africa series and wanted me to play Bangladesh games. That was a good call, because even when I started playing in that series,” Karunaratne said.
“I wasn’t too confident in my body. I was fearful that the hand might break again. But once I spent a couple of hours at the crease, I started to feel like it was okay, and I sort of slipped into my natural game,” he said.
Sri Lanka had a pretty off time at the current situation. Dimuth Karunaratne has batted quite well in the Test leg.
However, there are no practice games for the next three months. England will arrive at the Islanders’ shores in November for a three-match Test series.
“That’s the biggest challenge for someone who is a Test specialist – you have to go months without a game. This time, since the Bangladesh A matches were there, I could get back to form. Breaks are good, but I need to be at the top of my game,” Karunaratne stated.
“To get back to being that settled at the crease and to keep that intensity is not easy. But I have done that throughout my career. If there are any domestic matches – any kinds of matches – before the next Test, I will definitely play them,” he concluded.