‘I worked on my game’ | Sunday Observer

‘I worked on my game’

10 May, 2021
Lahiru Thirimanne
Lahiru Thirimanne

Lahiru Thirimanne, at one time looked upon as the successor to Kumar Sangakkara, is finally showing the consistency which he lacked throughout his career. He has been in the runs regularly that has made him the second highest run-getter in Test cricket for the 2021 calendar year.

Following a series of half-centuries in the West Indies, Thirimanne finally got over the three-figure mark in the second Test against Bangladesh to score his third Test century (140).

In the first Bangladesh Test, Thirimanne and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne put on 114 runs in an opening stand and followed it up with a 209 runs stand in the second Test.

The 31-year old left hander Thirimanne scored back to back half centuries on the last West Indies tour but couldn’t make it to the three-figure mark.

Thirimanne said he worked really hard in his game. “I did two or three technical adjustments to my batting. I realized that as a batsman you cannot keep playing the same way because all opposition teams we come up against analyze how to get us out and therefore we must make the necessary adjustments ourselves to face those challenges.

“As a batsman I wanted to go for the big score beyond the half centuries. However sometimes unfortunately I am back in the pavilion early with my mistake. I did a few adjustments and it is working well. The coaching department of the team is helping us a lot and they are getting the desired results,” said Thirimanne.

Thirimanne’s success with the bat is also due largely to the presence of Dimuth Karunaratne at the other end as his partner.

“Dimuth and I have been playing cricket together from under-15 level and we are of the same age. We both have a good understanding with each other in what areas to score our runs and it helps a lot when you get a pitch like this. The wickets were a bit different in the West Indies and that experience we put to good use. We have a lot of youngsters in the side and to reduce the pressure on them is our responsibility. When we score runs at the top there is less pressure out in the middle. That is our objective and I think we are doing it well now,” said Thirimanne.

Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower highly praised about Thirimanne’s performances.

“He’s worked really hard in his game, he’s taken no shortcuts. He has worked hard at the nets and the dividends are there to see. He is very fit, he’s got a good sound mind, the mental side of things is very good and all of it has come together. Hopefully he can carry on,” said Flower.

Lahiru Thirimanne, a product of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa has played 42 Test matches and 127 ODIs. He started as a middle order batsman and finally settle as a Test opener. He plays for the Ragama Cricket Club (RCC) and in his first full season in 2009-10, he scored 709 runs in eight games. That showing won him a place in the Sri Lankan ODI squad for the tri-series played in Bangladesh in 2010.

Thirimanne guided Sri Lanka to their fifth Asia Cup title in March 2014 with a well-crafted ton in a high pressure final at Dhaka. Having finally tamed his nemesis that is inconsistency, Thirimanne topped the Asia Cup batting charts with 279 runs in five games at an enviable average of 55.80.

Interestingly, all of Thirimanne’s centuries have come when he has batted in the top three.