Samaraweera heralds Thisara Perera’s progress with the willow

Sri Lanka batting coach Thilan Samaraweera has lauded the progress allrounder Thisara Perera has made with the bat.

Thisara scored 49 against South Africa in the first ODI coming in with Sri Lanka in trouble at 36/5.  Sri Lanka lost by five wickets but Perera’s innings spared them a thrashing with his heroics.

The former opener feels that Thisara’s attitude towards batting has helped drive improved results out in the middle.

He said of Thisara: “In the last six months, he’s improved a lot as a batsman. I gave a lot of space to him, and he’s getting there. The good thing is, after his dismissal he showed a lot of disappointment in the dressing room, because this was one of the best opportunities for him to get an ODI hundred.”

Thisara appears to thrive on pressure situations as he showed in Pakistan with the World XI and he has been told that he is central to the team’s plans for the World Cup as an allround asset.

“We had a lot of discussions, and we emphasised to Thisara how important he is to the 2019 World Cup. I think you have to give a lot of credit to bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake also. He changed Thisara’s bowling approach. He was very slow to the crease before Rumesh came, and in the last seven months, we can see how much faster he is to the stumps,” said Samaraweera.

“We had strong discussions, and sometimes disagreements. But Thisara is heading in the right direction at the moment.”

The second match of the ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played on 1 August, also in Dambulla.