Written by Staff Writer
28 Dec, 2021 | 7:26 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); There are not too many batters in world cricket who can make a case for being one of the best openers right now than Dimuth Karunaratne. Knocking 902 runs in seven matches with an average of 69.38 runs, and scoring four centuries, 2021 has been nothing short of glittering for the Sri Lankan Test Skipper.
The 33-year-old was already a key figure in the longer format for the Lankan Lions but what would have caught the eye of those who made the ICC list is the sturdiness of his performances this year. Of course, opening the batting is no easy task and this was highlighted in South Africa where although Sri Lanka lost the match by 10 wickets, Karunaratne scored 103 off 128 balls on a pitch which assisted South African pacers.
However, Karunaratne, who was in ICC’s Test Team of the Year in 2019, had his best bits on home soil. In a series against Bangladesh where he ultimately picked up the Player of the Series, Sri Lankan cricket fans saw their captain score 140 & 66 in a first test win and 244 in the second test. If Karunaratne did not have admirers already, he certainly would have made quite a few after massive knocks.
It was not all smooth sailing for the opener. In a forgetful series against England, Karunaratne picked up an injury that ruled him out of the second test, a match in which Sri Lanka so direly needed more players to contribute with the bat. He also missed out on a chance to represent Nottinghamshire in England due to visa troubles owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Karunaratne will gladly put those events behind him and dwell on a great year for him.
Others on the prestigious list include England’s Joe Root, India’s R Ashwin and ICC World Test Championship 2021 Winner Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand.
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