Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Colombo, 1st day July 20, 2009

Thushara happy to play a full series

Sri Lanka's promising left-arm fast bowler Thilan Thushara hopes to step into Chaminda Vaas' shoes one day following a successful first day against Pakistan in Colombo. Thushara, who took 3 for 77, has nine wickets in the three-Test series at 27.33 so far and was happy to be playing a full series for the first time in his career.

"This is only my sixth Test and although I played in the West Indies and in Pakistan I did not play regularly," Thushara said. "This is the first time I have been able to play in an entire [three-Test] series and take wickets."

This series has shown a vast improvement in Thushara's approach as a bowler and he put it down to hard work at the nets. "We do spot bowling concentrating on line and length under the watchful eyes of the coaches. Even at practice we have to put in 100% effort like bowling in a match. That could be the difference why our performance levels have improved."

Thushara and Nuwan Kulasekara have proved to be an excellent pair of new-ball bowlers for Sri Lanka, taking 23 wickets between them in the series. "Not only in this series, but I have bowled in partnership with Nuwan in several one-day internationals and we have been successful," Thushara said.

"The SSC wicket is a bit slow and with the second new ball you can swing it both ways. In the previous two Tests it was with the second new ball that we were able to make the breakthrough. The wicket is slower than we thought and the ball came nicely on the bat for the batsmen. Compared to the Galle and Oval wickets, this wicket is more batsman-friendly.

Thushara said the Pakistan lower order was vulnerable against the new ball. "We hope to take the balance wickets early morning the ball is still new. I feel we had a good day today taking seven wickets and we don't regret inviting Pakistan to bat first."