HomeCricketConsistent Dimuth Karunaratne gives Sri Lanka a new outlook

Consistent Dimuth Karunaratne gives Sri Lanka a new outlook

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An earnest smile, pure passion, a modest presence on the crease, a pin-drop silence between facing the 6 deliveries, lots of focus and nothing remotely indicative of any shenanigan; that’s Dimuth Karunaratne for you.

Karunaratne: One man; multiple feelings and realities.

For a man whose name warrants a spell-test to check skills of even Spelling Bee aspirants, there’s nothing complicated about his batting.
That firm grip, a fiery, aggressive batting style, the ability to go for his shots and a passion to score runs, instead of collecting them- Dimuth Karunaratne may not be a poster-boy of world cricket.
But if there’s been an iota of joy that Sri Lankans have received amid the controversy of the ball-tampering saga at the Caribbean, then it’s because of this man.
Probably, the cricket fan doesn’t even recollect Karunaratne’s presence in a side that is bleeding for change; change of a betterment.
And perhaps, the fan doesn’t pay much attention to absorbing the sheer brightness of talent there is, in a world that’s not restricted to Virat Kohli’s master-class in a chase, Joe Root’s dogged defence or Kane Williamson’s square drive.
Probably, if you are a fan caught up with seeing Fakhar and Babar terrorising Zimbabwe, then the name of Karunaratne may not care to know much about Dimuth Karunaratne.
If you are Mashrafe Mortaza who’s just avenged his side’s embarrassing Test defeat by turning the tables on Windies- you may not bother to check up on Dimuth Karunaratne.
But if you are a Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock- a trinity that’s been dulled by Sri Lanka in the sub-continent- then probably you’ll know a great deal about the man in focus.

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What if he was in the Caribbean?

One wonders what might have happened had Karunaratne travelled to the West Indies? Unfortunately, Dimuth wasn’t picked for the recently concluded 3-Test series. He was left out of the 17-man squad touring the Caribbean, one that returned back without a series win.
In the First Test played at the Brian Lara stadium, where Windies smashed their opponents by 226 runs, all Sri Lanka managed in their 1st innings was 185.
Then, at Barbados, where Sri Lanka nearly gave away their victory, they’d bundle out for 154 in their 1st innings.

Understanding Karunaratne’s Impact

To understand Karunaratne’s impact, spend a second or two on this stat.
In the recent Galle Test, Dimuth Karunratne blasted 218 runs alone when his side over a fortnight ago failed to cross 200 comprising eleven batsmen and that too, twice in a row.
But where Dimuth Karunaratne could’ve slowed down, doing his bit in a Test where Perera and Herath painted the news red, black and blue, the fierce striker of the ball carried on.
At Colombo, he’d strike back-to-back fifties facing Steyn and Rabada, both in their pomp, find gaps on either side and dance down the track early on to stamp authority on the game.
He wasn’t just batting at Colombo- Sri Lanka’s spiritual homeland of cricket. He was Faf’s nightmare. In an inning where only de Bruyn stood up for South Africa, Karunaratne’s fierce striking removed any element of ‘pro’ from the Proteas.
He may not be the most conservative batsman in Sri Lankan fray.
He may not base his game on the standard operating procedure of batting session upon session, but Karunaratne is demonstrating pretty much what Fakhar Zaman is for Pakistan, arguably with the same impact of attack if not the Pakistani’s consistency.

Have you seen how Karunaratne’s last 4 innings read?

No South African batsman other than de Bruyn reached the three-figure mark.
Amla clearly looks perturbed against spin. Elgar seems to have forgotten what dogged resistance can do on a pitch where only 1 side is scoring, sadly not his.
Faf, having twice come in fighting distance of a fifty, hasn’t been concentrating as he’d like.
Truth be told, if South Africa were to take some inspiration at this point in time, then in Karunaratne’s freewheeling style- they might find a hint.
Not every ball is to be hit. Not every seeming or turning delivery has a boundary written on it.
At times, you’ve got to manufacture shots.
In a contest where there’s hardly a dearth of class- considering in Dickwella and Mendis- Sri Lankans have two other promising men, Dimuth has demonstrated a handly alliance between caution and aggression.
At Galle, his 158 was an unbeaten knock. It came at a fiery strike rate of 71 in a Test.
At Colombo, Karunaratne stayed on to bat for nearly 340 minutes at the crease.

Can he inspire Sri Lanka to greater heights?

While he may not be a technically sound operative, one possessing the signature stamp of Test classiness, Dimuth Karunaratne isn’t a pinch hitter, “I’d send every ball over the ropes” batsman either.
And in this sweet in-between zone rests his key.
The only question is, can his heroics at a time where Sri Lanka is being lifted by spinners continue and inspire the rest?

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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