‘I don’t know why they gave a wicket like this’ – Roshen Silva


If one was looking to take a bit of pleasure in the Mirpur Test, it was either in seeing a parade of spinners turning the ball a mile or watching how Roshen Silva tackled those vicious deliveries. The 29-year old may only be playing his third Test match, but he didn’t seem too perturbed by the conditions. Playing the ball as late as he could, he has scored two high-quality half-centuries to put Sri Lanka 312 runs ahead.

Roshen now has four successive scores of 50 or more in his first five innings at the Test level. Only three other players have managed such a sequence: Herbie Collins (1921), Sunil Gavaskar (1971) and Mohammad Azharuddin (1985). Roshen’s only blemish was a duck on Test debut last December. A veteran of 110 first-class matches, he struck his maiden Test century in Chittagong, but that effort came on a featherbed and as such might pale in comparison to his knocks in Dhaka.

Roshen took a refreshingly realistic view of proceedings on the second day at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. He didn’t sugarcoat anything, saying it wasn’t easy out there but that a batsman has to be mentally prepared that there would be far more deliveries spitting off the edge of the bat than those hitting the middle.

“Before going to bat, praying is the best thing,” Roshen said. “I am just joking. But if you get a good ball on this wicket, you can’t help it. You can lose one or two wickets suddenly. You must get runs from the loose balls. We play in similar kind of wickets back home. We just wanted to play as normally as possible. I am not going to say it is a good wicket, but mentally we knew it was going to turn.”

Roshen said that he was lucky to survive the initial skirmishes. “Thank God I didn’t get out in the first few balls to Mustafizur Rahman. You must have seen it was really bad. I didn’t think that this would happen.”

But once he got a hang of the pitch, like in the first innings, his ability to play the ball close to his body, and with soft hands, thwarted the Bangladesh spinners. He cut them away forcefully whenever they dropped it short and when they went too full – like Mehidy Hasan did – he struck fours thorough midwicket.

Roshen was surprised to see Bangladesh lay out a rank turner against a side that has experienced spinners. Keeping in mind how the hosts batted in the first innings, he said Sri Lanka’s 312-run lead is enough to get them a win. “I thought it would be a good batting wicket. In the subcontinent, when Aussies or other teams come, we give this wicket but Sri Lanka has a good spin attack. I don’t know why they gave a wicket like this.

“I think this [lead] is enough. All the batsmen from the Bangladesh team also know this wicket is not going to be easy. We have a much more experienced spin attack. They also have really good bowlers but Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera are very experienced bowlers. Rangana has 400-plus Test wickets; Dilruwan 700 first-class wickets. Suranga and Akila Dananjaya bowled well too. We are in a good position to win this match.”



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