I’m not a fan of Tilekaratne Dilshan being in the test team. But its a hard job disliking him when he he bats like he did in the 1st innings.
It was the classic test innings. The counter attack, the aggression, the speed at which he got the runs.
It was match changing and then some.
The problem with Dilshan is that he doesn’t change his style of play for anyone. Now some might think that’s a good thing because he’s always looking to runs at a good rate.
But there are times when what you need from your batsmen is to knuckle down and play the long innings. Dilshan is incapable of that at most times.
All out attack will be looked upon kindly if you are God Sehwag or an Australian wicketkeeper who likes to write controversial books but when you are in a team where the top order is made out straw, Dilshan lets the team down more often than not.
The problem is obviously in his technique, its not built for the long, grueling innings.
“Get your foot to the pitch of the ball, play close to your body” are terms that Dilshan dismisses as not worthy of himself.
Its a technique that works in the sub continent and in ODIs, but not in places like Australia or England or SA, where his record is not that flash.
9 years, 50 tests for 6 centuries is an unfair return for Sri Lanka’s faith in him. Its not like he’s not had the chance to score more runs either, knowing how the Sri Lankan top order has been in the last decade.
What it peels down to is that Dilshan is a good player who could have been much more had he had a little bit more patience or been willing to change his game a little bit more to suit test cricket.
On one hand, you can dismiss his first innings assault as, ‘oh it was just Bangladesh and the pitch was not that hard to bat on.’
On the other you can hope this was an auspicious start to his new year with more centuries to be put in the bank.
Its up to Dilshan to show us which one to believe.