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Roshen Silva recalls the time he mulled moving to Australia

Silva stressed on the fact that saving the match was more important than scoring a hundred on the day.

Roshen Silva
Roshen Silva plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team Sri Lanka sprung a big surprise by holding on to a draw in the final Test against India at Delhi. While the senior batsmen held the fort in the first innings, it was the youth brigade that took charge on the final day. One of the key architects of the drawn game for the islanders was Roshen Silva. The youngster scored an unbeaten 74 to ensure that the match ended in a draw.

As per the recent quotes in the DailyNews.lk, Roshen Silva reflected back at the knock and also his journey to earning the Test cap for the national side. In a startling revelation, he quoted that there was a time he pondered moving to Australia after being ignored in Sri Lanka. However, the dream of playing for the national team kept him going.

“I was so frustrated at not being selected that financially I wanted to move on and go to Australia and play some league cricket. But representing Sri Lanka was always my dream. I had few offers from clubs as well but thought that I needed to play for Sri Lanka and that kept me going,” quoted Roshen Silva.

Speaking further on the same note, he mentioned that it was the A team coach Avishka Gunawardene who gave him the confidence to go on. After scoring a duck in the first innings, he understood that the key to scoring runs is staying at the crease. Moreover, he stressed on the fact that he wanted to do something special. Drawing the game in a tough match situation against the quality bowling side like the Indian team is always a special effort.

“When I was with the ‘A’ team, Avishka Gunawardene (‘A’ team coach) gave me encouragement to go on. India is the world’s number one ranked team and I wanted to do something special. No one expects to score a duck on debut. In the first innings I had no clue to what happened as I faced only three balls. Since I had been waiting for this opportunity for years, I badly wanted to do well,” Silva quoted.

“We wanted to do something special. We actually wanted to win. I wanted to bat for as long as I can. All four Indian bowlers are quality bowlers. When you stay at the wicket for some time, you realize which that pitches will turn and which one will not turn. That helped me,” he added.

‘It was huge pressure’

Roshen Silva further admitted that there was immense pressure when he was batting at the crease. However, he tried to stimulate the game as a club game and try not feel the pressure of international cricket. Moreover, the coach gave him confidence during the drinks break. He revealed that Thilan Samaraweera told him to save the game and consider his place fixed in the Sri Lankan line up.

“It was huge pressure. I thought not to think of it as an international game but to take it like a club match. I was keen to get my first ten runs and had a few targets and that came in handy. Thilan (Samaraweera batting coach) told me it was bad luck when I got out for a duck in the first innings. He said Test cricket is like that and reminded me that I had come here through hard work. He wanted me to believe in my ability. When I came for tea, he told me if I can score about 65 or 75 and save the game, I would have secured my place. I was determined to finish it off,” conceded the youngster.

Dickwella’s advice to score a hundred

Speaking further, Roshen Silva remarked that Niroshan Dickwella wanted him to go for the century in the debut game. However, he did not take the advice. Silva stressed on the fact that saving the match was more important than scoring a hundred on the day. Roshen revealed the entire conversation he had with Dickwella in the final hour of play.

“I told him look here, saving the Test match is of paramount importance. You never know. Going for personal milestones, if you lose a wicket, that’s it. This is a funny game. This is a very clever Indian team. I told him to forget about the hundred, we will close shop here,” Roshen Silva revealed.

“Dickwella is a positive guy. His idea was that scoring a maiden hundred that too in India was a huge effort. We had to score 117 runs in 50 minutes. He was ready to go for it. But I told him that drawing a game in India is as good as winning one. Dickwella wants to change a game always. I can’t play like him. I can’t play scoops, I can’t play flicks. When he does that, the other team goes on the back foot. That is important,” he quoted further.

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