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Lanka to disrupt Indian approach

11th November 2017
Frank Dimuth Madushanka Karunaratne is the new breed of Sri Lankan cricketers with a fearless bat and an analytical mind that helps him post-mortem, prioritise and plan ahead of a series.
So with the three-Test Series against India in the offing this gorgeous bat has a few aces ip his sleeves. So asked how did he plan to tackle Md Shami and Umesh Yadav, he said: "I played against them in the last series so I have a few plans. I know what they will do with me so I prepared before coming here. I will stick to that plan. If it needs changes, I will do it if they also alter their plan."
For him the Indian series back home matured him as a player. "I think that hundred helped me a lot to take some confidence against Pakistan. It's not easy wicket to bat in the second innings but I took the challenge and was determined to get some runs. Ashwin was likely to get wickets there so I was thinking to play first five overs without any big shot. I realised it won't be easy and played a lot of reverse sweeps which forced them to change their plans. I try to play in my comfort zone always. That's a key for me. I try to bat for longer periods and that is my gameplan," he said.
However, he along with his think-tank is also planning to upset the rhythm of Indian bowling attack. "We will try to disrupt the rhythm. If you need to change the field you are doing something extra. Otherwise Jadeja and Ashwin are both hungry for wickets every time. So when they bowl good line and lengths I stick to the basics. If I don't give any chance to them they will try to do something else. That's my plan, to wait for the loose one for both spinners. That's my gameplan. If it's not working then I will try something out of the box and put pressure on the bowlers."
On what was needed to really challenge this Indian side, he was straight as an arrow: "I think we need a bit of confidence. Only Angelo and Rangana played here and none of us played in India before. So it's better to get some confidence in these conditions. This was a batting friendly wicket so we got runs."
"We just needed to get some confidence. It's all about runs. When we go through the sessions, whether they bowl fast or slow doesn't matter as long as they are bowling in good line and length. That's the most difficult part for a batsman and I felt they bowled in really good areas. The opposition had good bowling line up. But they did not give us left arm spinner. I think it's not easy ...they will definitely play with Jadeja and Ashwin, maybe Kuldeep as well. But leg-spinner and off-spinner bowled really well. The ball is not turning much due to lack of grass. The ball is coming straighter. But when we practiced we played in dusty wickets in Sri Lanka. So we prepared well and we have three days before the Test. We will prepare for good spin attack as well," he said about the day's play and on the importance of a leggie.
On Chandika Hathurusingha's appointment as coach, he said: "I have no idea about it. I heard he is coming but it's not confirmed yet. If he comes it will be good for Sri Lankan cricket as he knows most of the guys. I also played under him during my provisional games. It's good for us but I have no idea whether he is coming or not."

Arindam Basu