Sri Lanka elated to get next generation of spinners
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was delighted to see his inexperienced spinners stepped up in the crucial moment of the game and paved the platform of the side's 209-run victory over Bangladesh in the second and final Test at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
The victory helped Sri Lanka take the two-match series by 1-0 after the first game ended in a draw.
Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, who made debut and off-spinner Ramesh Mendis, who came to this Test with just one match under his belt, demolished Bangladesh by sharing 17 wickets between them. Jayawickrama particularly was impressive as he became only the 16th bowler to take more than 10 wickets on debut. His 11-178 was the best figure by a Lankan bowler on debut also.
"I'm really happy with their performance. At a time when we didn't have anyone experienced in the spin bowling department, they came and bowled like experienced players, and performed their roles to perfection," Karunaratne said here after his side registered the 209-run victory.
"Ramesh can improve a little bit more in terms of his lines and lengths and the way he builds pressure. But Praveen did his job 100%. He played like a bowler who seemed not to have played only 10 first-class matches. It's a great sign for the future of our Test cricket."
He further said that he had seen some sort of a similarity between debutant Jayawickrama and Rangana Herath.
"He (Jayawickrama) does the simple things well. He pitches the ball in the right spot. That's something we saw from Rangana Herath as well. He makes the batsman play, and gives the ball a chance to do something. When you play at this level, you have to have that consistency in line and length. That was his secret. I think Ramesh also gave him a lot of help from the other end, in terms of building pressure. That bowling partnership was good, and they had an understanding because they also play for the same club," he said.
Karunaratne, who scored 428 runs in three innings with a double hundred in the first Test and a ton in this one, revealed that his changed mindset was key to his success in the Test series.
"There were some minor changes. I didn't change my technique, but I changed my approach a bit. I think my playing style in the West Indies was a little too aggressive for an opener. In some series' you can be aggressive, but in the West Indies I took a few wrong options," he said.
"After two or three failures, I asked the coach about what my mistakes were, and we had a constructive discussion. He told me my technique is good, but my approach needed little fixing. So I did what he said and saw out the first 10-15 overs, leaving the ball as much as possible. I had some success in the last innings in the West Indies, and I brought that approach here. Even if the opposition changes, because my approach was consistent I was able to make big scores." -BSS