Sri Lanka bowling coach hails spell of Suranga Lakmal as one of the finest

"It's one of the finest I have seen for a long time. Not sure whether it's the best," he quoted.

Sauranga Lakmal
Sauranga Lakmal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team Sri Lanka had a dream hour of play on the first day of the Kolkata Test against India. They arrived as the underdogs in the match but ended up dictating terms on the rain-affected day. It was pace bowler Suranga Lakmal who made the Indian batsmen dance to his tunes. Lakmal bowled 6 maiden overs on a trot to push the hosts on the backfoot.

He started off by sending KL Rahul back to the pavilion on the very first ball of the match. He then dismissed skipper Virat Kohli for a duck too, and accounted for the dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan as well. After the day’s play, Sri Lanka bowling coach, Rumesh Ratnayake, hailed the spell of Suranga Lakmal as one of the finest in the recent times.


As per the quotes in the Business Standard, he mentioned that the job, however, is not done yet. He also mentioned that it was a good toss to win since it was a green surface at the disposal. He was surprised to see such a track in the subcontinent. Well, Suranga Lakmal certainly made full use of it.

“It’s one of the finest I have seen for a long time. Not sure whether it’s the best. The wicket was receptive and helpful. It’s going to be a big challenge. Looking at the wicket, we knew it was going to swing. By saying that job is not finished it has only just started,” quoted Rumesh Ratnayake.

“Yes, it was a good toss to win. Personally I feel it (pitch’s seam-friendly conditions) might last one and half days or more. Since it’s a new wicket it might be another extra day or so. The surface is grassy. It is surprising to see such a wicket in recent times in the subcontinent,” he added.

His advice to the bowlers

Speaking further on the same note, Ratnayake revealed the message he had given to Suranga Lakmal and co. on the day. He remarked that keeping the ball up was important to push the batsmen on the backfoot. There was nothing different that he told the bowlers. He also pointed out that such grassy tracks can be like a two edged sword – it could go either way. Some days the batsmen make merry, and some days belong to the bowlers – as was the case with Suranga Lakmal today.

“It is very similar to that of old. My advice was simple, we had to keep the ball up. As you may push the batsman back, it’s important that we keep it up. As you have seen, the movement or vulnerability was more as ball was pitched up. The tactics in a normal wicket would be but on this wicket it was totally different,” mentioned the Sri Lankan bowling coach.

“When you have a grassy pitch, I believe it’s a 50-50 chance for both the teams. If that’s the option one wants to take why not. As a fast bowling coach I would love to play on wickets like these. But for a batsman it might be a nightmare,” he explained further.

On the par score

When asked to predict a par score for the first innings, the bowling coach mentioned that 200 would be enough. However, he maintained that India would want to get somewhere around 250. “I don’t know the par score.. India might say 250 but we might say 200. It might differ from whom you are asking,” Ratnayake conceded.