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    Why Dimuth is the best among the rest

    April 19, 2019

    To lead your country in a World Cup cricket tournament is the dream of every cricketer. For Dimuth Karunaratne primarily a Test batsman the honour has come when he least expected it.Karunaratne would never have dreamt of leading his country to a World Cup let alone being selected as a member of the one-day side because after the 2015 World Cup he was never considered for selection in the one-day side by succeeding selection committees.But given the reins of captaincy in the two-Test series in South Africa he managed to motivate a crestfallen team to perform like champions and win the series 2-0, a feat that has not been matched by any team from the subcontinent.

    With Sri Lanka running into captaincy problems ahead of the World Cup with two main contenders Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews having different issues with players and coach, the selectors had no other option but to turn to Karunaratne and hand the reins to him.Karunaratne had no issues with the head coach Chandika Hathurusingha or with any members of the team as he clearly demonstrated with his leadership in South Africa.“The relationship with the coach in this kind of tournament is important. In the South African series Hathu aiya and I had a close relationship. We didn’t have any arguments. I think I can work with him closely,” said Karunaratne.
    Speaking further a modest Karunaratne said, “I didn’t expect to be captain of the World Cup team but now that I have been entrusted with the responsibility I will carry it out to the best of my ability. I think I have been given the captaincy because the selectors think that I am the most suitable for that position. To get the team to gel together is my priority. At the moment what I require is full co-operation from all the players. Once you establish team unity going from match to match will be very easy, and team planning etc.
    “No one can guarantee the team’s performances, not even the coach, selectors or me. When we take the field we expect the players to give 100 percent. There are occasions where things can go wrong. The players I have been given is a good side and I am looking forward to get their support and perform well in the World Cup,” he said.
    Asked why players like him so much compared to others, Karunaratne replied, “I’ve no idea why they like me mostly. I treat them as a friend and I don’t act like a senior player. I always go out with them and ask them what they need and have conversations with them, so I can easily manage them. In the Test series I spoke to all of them and I got all the information I want, that’s why we had a good time in South Africa.”
    When it was pointed out that he has been out of ODI cricket for four years and how he will be able to overcome that hurdle, Karunaratne explained, “Although I have been out of ODI cricket I have played domestic limited-over cricket in the last four years and have been scoring runs. I have played Test matches in those four years and it only the format that is different. Why we have been unable to score 350 in ODIs is because we lose wickets early. If we can give a good platform and have wickets in hand we can make that score. We are trying to reach that target. Even Kumar Sangakkara was slow at the beginning but after reaching about 70 he doubles the strike rate that’s what we also intend doing.”

    Last modified on Friday, 19 April 2019 08:26

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