A surprise package from Sri Lanka

Chanaka Welegedara

The man from Kurunegala took three for 28 – including Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar -- in a dream spell to leave India gasping at 32 for four before the hosts rallied through Rahul Dravid.

Welegedara took four wickets on Test debut against against England in 2007 in his only previous Test appearance, a persistent problem with running on the pitch and a back injury setting him back a great deal.

“I had problems running on the danger area and didn’t get a chance since my first Test,” he told newsmen in the evening. “Then I was sent to the MRF Pace Academy where Dennis Lillee worked on a few technical aspects to help me overcome the problem.”

Welegedara was a late inclusion after fellow left-arm paceman pulled up short with a sore shoulder after colliding with reserve stumper Kaushal Silva during while training on Sunday.
“I heard just before the toss that I was going to play as Thilan was unavailable. Although I wasn’t initially slated to play, I was mentally prepared when the call came. I am thrilled at the way I bowled,” he added.

“I really enjoyed dismissing Sachin as his was a big wicket. There was some assistance early on but once the wicket settled down, it wasn’t easy for us. This is Test cricket, you need to have patience,” added the man touted as Chaminda Vaas’ successor, referring to the Dravid-MS Dhoni association that tilted the balance India’s way.

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