Karunaratne: ‘We want to save the Test’

The Sri Lanka opener admitted his fellow batsmen will have to play positively to counter the Indian bowling threat.

Dimuth Karunaratne... “I started my career as a bowler, not as a batsman, so I can bowl.”   -  AP

Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne said that his fellow batsmen need to play positively while they strive to save the second Test against India.

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“We want to save the Test. In the first 10 to 15 overs, with the ball being hard, it is not easy to bat. After the hardness is gone, the help is not there for the spinners. (Dinesh) Chandimal and Kusal (Mendis) batted really well in the last few overs. We got to play positively. Last time when we played in Galle (2015), Chandi got 160-odd, scoring a lot of runs through the sweep and reverse-sweep. I think that will be the key,” Karunaratne told the press here on Friday.

‘Good spinner’

Queried about the pitch and on batting against R. Ashwin, Karunaratne replied: “You see more turn and bounce than we saw on the first day. Ashwin is a good spinner. He has variations. When I batted I was playing for the straighter one. It’s turning a lot. You can play for both the turn and straighter one.”

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With Nuwan Pradeep being ruled out, Karunaratne is open to bowling his seamers. “I started my career as a bowler, not as a batsman, so I can bowl. The thing is there are a lot of bowlers who can bowl faster than 130-135 kmph. We played only with one pace option, so when they asked if I could bowl with the new ball, I said I could,” Karunaratne said

He added that Pradeep’s absence will be felt. “With Nuwan’s injury, there’s no opportunity to get a wicket with the new ball, or get a wicket through reverse swing when it gets older. We will have to depend on the spinners.”

Karunaratne also clarified that Angelo Mathews, who is recovering from an injury, will not bowl.