Tharanga relishing second innings

Tharanga relishing second innings

It was always going to be tough to replace a proven performer like Jayasuriya, and Tharanga’s inconsistent run two years ago has also added to the suspicion of him surviving the test.

But the left-hander has scored consistently along with Tillakaratne Dilshan to dispel all the doubts. Excerpts from a chat:

On his comeback: I had played earlier for two years for Lanka. So I knew I was good enough and if I get runs for the ‘A’ team, I would get my chance. I made runs but I didn’t get a look-in for 2-3 series but then I got a chance in the series against India. I took it.
On changes he made post comeback: I spoke to the coaches and they felt that I was not playing my natural game.  I also spoke to lot of guys – Sanga, Mahela, coaches Trevor (Bayliss) and (Chandika) Hathurasinghe. Hathurasinghe told me to play a natural game and not worry about getting out. That bad habit came in because the runs weren’t coming after World Cup. Then I put pressure on myself saying that I need to get runs. And that’s where I made the mistake. I haven’t made much technical changes and just changed the mind set and the attitude.

On batting with Dilshan: It has helped me. The bowlers are concentrating on how to get him out and pressure is off me. In fact I think I get more loose balls now as the bowlers are under pressure after bowling to him.
On replacing Jayasuriya : No one can replace Sanath. I have got a chance now and I am focusing on my batting. He was also happy when I scored runs and congratulated me in India.

On the increase in players’ pool: I think the contract is a very good thing. When I started I was in the ‘A’ team, that’s why I got a chance. This is a very good thing for players. Not everyone is going to play for Sri Lanka. Now they get some financial security. They have now increased contract pool to 75 players. The system is getting more professional there. If someone is not performing, it becomes easier to find a replacement.
On life in Matara after Tsunami: Yes, I lost my house and everything but I wasn’t the only one guy who has lost things. There were 1 million people who suffered. There was no use sitting and crying about the loss of things and blaming life. We had to move on. It’s like starting a new life.
DH News Service

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