Kaushal regrets not making most of good starts

Sri Lanka batsman Kaushal Silva regrets not making the most of his opportunities at the highest level but says the fact that he was in and out of the Test side did not help.

Opening batsman Kaushal, who has scored 2058 runs in 37 Tests at an average of 29 including three centuries, was dropped from the Sri Lanka Test team before the series in India late last year.

A consistent performer in domestic cricket for many years with a first-class average of more than 45, 31-year-old Kaushal has played his 37 Tests over the last seven years with the right-hander not always a regular starter in the team.

In an interview with the Island Cricket website, Kaushal said: “Being in and out of the side does break a player’s rhythm. When you are continuously playing, then you get more confidence and automatically your performances also go up.

“Being an opener, when you get a start, you should go for a big one. I think that is one area that I have worked on this season; how to change gears once I get set. That helps you and your team as well.

“I have got out twice in the 90s and once in the 80s. I really regret that now.”

Another criticism levelled against Kaushal is the fact that he scores his runs to slowly, even in the longest format, and does not put the bowlers under pressure.

He says he is working on improving his strike-rate but only after seeing off the new ball, which is his primary job, to get back into the international mix.

Kaushal continued: “I changed my approach this year but not with the new ball. Once I get set, I’ve tried to be bit more aggressive.

“I developed some shots during my training sessions and it paid off in the domestic games I played this year.

“I got a double-hundred and two centuries at a strike-rate of 80. I think the strike-rate is important nowadays.

“If you can put pressure on the bowler, you can get more loose balls out of them. It will create opportunities for your batting partner too.

“I am giving my best effort to get a recall. I have set myself goals that I want to achieve. There are things that I control. I will focus on those things and work hard on it to get a recall.”