A West Indies player congratulates Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne at the end of the first cricket Test at Galle
Player of the Match Dimuth Karunaratne said that he has set himself the target of playing 100 Test matches and scoring 10,000 Test runs, goals which are within his reach if he can continue in his present form.
Karunaratne, a worried player before the start of the first Test against West Indies at Galle because of the lack of competitive cricket he had played since his last Test innings in May, came good to make two eye-catching contributions – 147 and 83 – to take his aggregate to 854 for the calendar year to be third behind England’s Joe Root (1455) and Rohit Sharma of India (906), both of whom have played nearly double the number of Tests Karunaratne has appeared in for the year, which is six.
“I didn’t have runs behind me when I came to the Test, that's what I was worried about,” said Karunaratne at the end of the first Test which Sri Lanka won by 187 runs.
“From the time I came to Galle I worked hard at my game because I had not scored many runs. There was some doubt in my mind whether I could perform. I knew with my calibre that if I get a small start, I can convert it into a big one. I started off a bit nervously in the first innings, but gradually I gained confidence and I got into full rhythm. I played the second innings knock also in the same vein, but still I think that I have not reached 100 percent to my best form.”
Reflecting on the excellent form he has been for the year, Karunaratne said that it all started with the century he scored against South Africa at Johannesburg last December.
“I learnt a lot and gained a lot of confidence from that knock because no Sri Lankan had scored a hundred at the Wanderers. Also, after my failure in the first Test in the West Indies I worked a lot with Mickey (Arthur) who told me how to start my innings, when to accelerate, against which bowlers I can score runs off and all that,” said the 33-year-old left-hander.
“After that, I was able to organise my game and it became easy for me to score runs. In the first innings of this Test, I told the coach if I can bat the first 15 overs I can go for a big innings. Now I am in a good mindset going into a match and I have no fear of failure because I can bring out my maximum."
“My target is to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket. I don’t know whether I can achieve it, but the target is always in my mindset. I also want to play in 100 Test matches. If I can continue in my present form, I am confident that I can get close to 10,000 runs. These goals motivate me,” said Karunaratne whose career figures stands at 5406 runs from 73 Tests. – (ST)