South Africa not having an additional spinner is good for us: Samaraweera

South Africa not having an additional spinner is good for us: Samaraweera

Keshav Maharaj is the lone specialist spinner in the Proteas lineup.

Thilan Samaraweera
Thilan Samaraweera. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The ongoing South Africa tour of Sri Lanka hasn’t quite been fruitful for the visitors. The Proteas batsmen have danced to the tunes of the Sri Lankan spinners. The hosts spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, and Akila Dananjaya has been exceptional. However, the Proteas struck a surprise move for the second test.

With the track at Sinhalese Sports Club offering turn, it was astonishing to see the Proteas include just one spinner. However, it didn’t take much time for them to realize their mistake. Left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj went on to pick eight out of the nine wickets that fell on the first day. Sri Lankan batting coach Thilan Samaraweera was delighted with the move.

South Africa not having an additional spinner is good for us 

Thilan Samaraweera expressed his surprise over South Africa’s decision to play just one spinner. The Lankan batting coach felt that the decision worked in the home team’s favour. He also credited Maharaj for his stupendous bowling performance. Moreover, while he asserted that it was a turning track, he preferred to wait until they get to bowl.

“I was really surprised. I thought they might go with three pace bowlers and two spinners. But they stuck to their strength which is pace. I guess not having the additional spinner is good for us. When you see the scorecard, one spinner has picked up eight wickets. Probably they are short one spinner.

At the moment it looks like the pitch is really spinning but we’ll have to wait for South Africa to bat to make sure. A lot of credit to Keshav Maharaj for the way he bowled to create pressure and deliver some good balls to our top order,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

Dananjaya is a good Test cricketer with nice loop and a lot of variation

Samaraweera instilled his faith in off-spinner Dananjaya to make a difference in the longer format. While he has featured constantly in the limited over’s team, the 24-year-old has played only two Tests to date. The former SL cricketer remarked that Dananjaya could be the one to watch out for with the wide variety of variations he has.

“Akila is a quality spinner and very confident about what he can do. He is a good Test cricketer with nice loop and lot of variation. He bowls leg-spin, googly, and his stock ball as well. He is an attacking option for us. We know that Rangana Herath is reaching the end of his career, and after a long spell, he needs a good 40-minute break. In that time we can use Akila – if he gets one wicket he will become more attacking,” he added.


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