Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 24, 2012

Jayawardene hails 'confident' Perera

52

Isuru Udana, the left-arm fast bowler, had a forgettable ODI debut. His opening over contained five wides and two boundaries and went for 16. It was also the over that was to completely alter the course of the game. With India racing to 31 for 0 in three overs and Udana struggling to cope with the stiff breeze across the ground, Mahela Jayawardene handed the ball to Thisara Perera in the fourth. Perera started with three wicket-maidens taking out Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina in each. Three successive wicket-maidens. Almost unbelievable. He could have had a double-wicket maiden but for a dropped catch. Almost ridiculous. India managed 138.

Jayawardene said Udana's waywardness turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Sri Lanka. "Isuru strayed all over the place in the first over," Jayawardene said. "I felt he was a bit too nervous trying to fight with the wind. He bowled really well at practice yesterday.

"The other experienced bowlers I had were Thisara and Angelo [Mathews] so I just gave him the ball because the other day he bowled well from that end and did the job for us. He's improved quite a bit in confidence and I think the consistency is the most important thing which he is striving for. He's been consistent for us in the last six months to one year. Every day he keeps improving and he is putting his hand up to play Test cricket as well."

Increasingly, there is hardly anything that Perera cannot pull off on a cricket field. He slams sixes so effectively that he has already been compared to Lance Klusener and Shahid Afridi, by no less than his coach and captain respectively. Increasingly, defending sides, even if they are ahead, don't feel a total is safe against Sri Lanka till Perera is dismissed.

Increasingly, he is turning out to be that deceptive kind of bowler who can seem innocuous as he runs in, but can easily run through sides. He already has a six-for in ODIs. And he is a big asset in the field. Sehwag fell to the latter quality today, as Perera hung on to an acrobatic return catch.

There was not much swing in the air, but Perera bowled a difficult length, got bounce with his height, and managed some seam movement. Just enough to take Kohli's and Raina's edges.

Perera is having a memorable 2012. He has won games with his batting and bowling, he was Player of the Series in the ODIs against Pakistan and he has shared the new ball in a Test. What has done the trick for him? Tips from Shaun Pollock, the former South Africa fast bowler and Mumbai Indians' bowling coach.

"I think he is a good learner but I will be correct if I say he has worked closely with Shaun Pollock on his action during the IPL time because he wasn't playing much," Jayawardene said. "Polly has given him some good tips with his action. Polly is a great bowler to discuss those kinds of things with. I think [it is] a great opportunity for him so with that and with fast-bowling coaches he has been working hard to get his pace, to get his accuracy.

"Something that he lacked was accuracy in hitting the seam in that good area. He is a tall boy. If he can hit that good area he is always going to create opportunities so I think that's been the change and at practices he is with the ball doing something or with the bat, batting nets, throw downs. He wants to learn so good to see young guys doing that."

Perera said Pollock had asked him to be more upright in his delivery stride so that he could put more force into his bowling and hit the seam with more control. As Jayawardene said, "The IPL sometimes does help some of the players."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 27, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    I wonder if this boring SRI-IND Series is ever going to end for once.

  • SLMaster on July 26, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin, Murali (Doosra), Vaas (offcutter), and Mendis (Carom-ball) have magical deliveries. If you figure them out, (But I do not think Indian ever figure-out Vaas and Murali), of course it is easy to play. But Perera doesn't have magical deliveries other than bowling line & length. So what are you going to figure out. Remember MacGrath, he never had a magical delivery.

  • Black_Rider on July 26, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    @arasrajeev :: Read it bro.Looking forward to see him in the SLPL...

  • Colombofan on July 26, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    good win for SL. disappointing rohit sharma... too many opportunities were given to him and now Indian team management should looking for an alternative .....who was the best no 4 Indian batsman all time????

  • on July 26, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Perera is a bowling all rounder, please do not promote him in the batting order as 30s and 40s are more than handy from him, if you tell him to focus more on his batting i am sure he's going to loose his bowling skills...

  • Sinhaya on July 26, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin, you are wrong. Murali and Vaas only failed against India in their last days of cricket. Dont talk too big. Thisara is young and has a long way to go and he will keep getting better and better.

  • arasrajeev on July 26, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    any lankan fan read the article about Akila Dananjaya .it seems he is another ajantha mendis.with seven type of deliveries.he is already bowling in the nets and seniors are having hard time.great news for lanka cricket

  • CoverDriveSL on July 26, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Jayawardene right now. is the Best captain playing International Cricket ..with his tactical moves SL can make This Indian team look like a non test playing nation...ahaa people see the NEW Minos India!!!!! 138 all out...SL will win next T20 also Under Jayawardene's Captaincy !!

  • CoverDriveSL on July 26, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    SL roxxx!!! they will surely win the series 4-1!

  • Positive_Critic on July 26, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    I can remember another guy... Thussara... he also was one of the guys who took a liking to the indian team.. left armer and was also super handy with the willow..

  • on July 27, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    I wonder if this boring SRI-IND Series is ever going to end for once.

  • SLMaster on July 26, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin, Murali (Doosra), Vaas (offcutter), and Mendis (Carom-ball) have magical deliveries. If you figure them out, (But I do not think Indian ever figure-out Vaas and Murali), of course it is easy to play. But Perera doesn't have magical deliveries other than bowling line & length. So what are you going to figure out. Remember MacGrath, he never had a magical delivery.

  • Black_Rider on July 26, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    @arasrajeev :: Read it bro.Looking forward to see him in the SLPL...

  • Colombofan on July 26, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    good win for SL. disappointing rohit sharma... too many opportunities were given to him and now Indian team management should looking for an alternative .....who was the best no 4 Indian batsman all time????

  • on July 26, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Perera is a bowling all rounder, please do not promote him in the batting order as 30s and 40s are more than handy from him, if you tell him to focus more on his batting i am sure he's going to loose his bowling skills...

  • Sinhaya on July 26, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @bravetigersmustwin, you are wrong. Murali and Vaas only failed against India in their last days of cricket. Dont talk too big. Thisara is young and has a long way to go and he will keep getting better and better.

  • arasrajeev on July 26, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    any lankan fan read the article about Akila Dananjaya .it seems he is another ajantha mendis.with seven type of deliveries.he is already bowling in the nets and seniors are having hard time.great news for lanka cricket

  • CoverDriveSL on July 26, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Jayawardene right now. is the Best captain playing International Cricket ..with his tactical moves SL can make This Indian team look like a non test playing nation...ahaa people see the NEW Minos India!!!!! 138 all out...SL will win next T20 also Under Jayawardene's Captaincy !!

  • CoverDriveSL on July 26, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    SL roxxx!!! they will surely win the series 4-1!

  • Positive_Critic on July 26, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    I can remember another guy... Thussara... he also was one of the guys who took a liking to the indian team.. left armer and was also super handy with the willow..

  • on July 26, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    LOl at tigermustwin..Overrated Sachin was Vaas`s bunny for years..India treated murali like a partimer ? Murali ran through the overhiped indian batting lineup even in his last test.And Sachin has never been comfortable against him.Apart from Lara NO batsman played Murali with any comfort !

  • fan2011 on July 26, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    @ shanepe2003 dude what on earth are you mumbling about????? Mattews is not good? what end are you watching the matches from, yes he is lazy, but have you ever seen a batsman partnering with the last wicket to bring a match from an impossible position to a winning one???

    ofcourse perara needs to be utilized more, even i felt maybe he should have come in before lahiru thirimane

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    It's really great that Sri Lanka in Produced such a talent cricketers like Mahela, Dilshan, Sanga)

  • on July 26, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    The upcoming "GIANT" of the Sri Lankan team! This young boy is truely one of the best newcomers to the team. I think a permanent place is already "reserved" for Iisara. I just love to watch him bowling and batting! Keep it up young man, we need you!

  • sidh78 on July 26, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    so ipl help parera in his bolling.so why the other country fan blame ipl.

  • on July 26, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    IPL sometimes does help the cricketers ,then most of the time it does not. yeah, mahela you are on the spot, IPL does kill the cricket

  • shanepe2003 on July 26, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    I think Perera is underrated player and S/L hasn't fully utilized pereras talent. Instead S/L cricket try to create another Mahela, by keep giving AB Mathews chances who hasn't performed up to the expectation's ( other than solitary two games in Melbourne and last match against Pakistan) ultimately after 300 ODIs realise he hasn't played up to his potential like mahela / yes he is a good caption but u cant say he's the best cos leader is a player who leads the team by showing performance ( like ponting in his era) not just a strategic player who tells others to perfome. Hope players like perera and J mendis gets chances like AB Mathews rcv right nw / & most of all hope AB Mathews will allow perera to perfome if he( AB Mathews) become caption theirs lot of undercurrent going on from AB Mathews to perera that can be clearly visible if u look at closely AB Mathews reaction when perea had success.

  • bravetigersmustwin on July 26, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Perara cant be threat for the indians in this series again. Indians will plan to attack the lethal weapons of any team and bring down their confidence. They found better way to play malinga and treated him like a part time bowler. Similarly india would get rid of perara and bring him down to the core. This is what happened to Lanka star bowlers before ... Malinga.. mendis... muralidharan... Vaas... Soon Perara will be added in this list. Its only a matter one or two matches.

  • desm on July 26, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Yes i think we should try Perera to open ,like we did for sanath .he can be handy ??

  • rahulcricket007 on July 26, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    @JONATHAN JOSEPHS . ABSOLUTELY CORRECT . IT 'S JUST LIKE ENGLISH FOOTBALL PRIMIER LEAGUE WHICH IS PLAYED IN ENGLAND BUT WE ALL KNOW HOW RUBBISH ENGLAND'S PERFORMANCES HAS BEEN IN BIG EVENTS LIKE EURO CUP FOR FIFA WORLD CUP .

  • rock.rockyin on July 26, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    couldnt follow an inch of second match ... why did India collapse to such low total heard its coz of heavy wind like in wellington . how is that external factors impact the outcome of result

  • on July 26, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    perera should be opener,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • on July 25, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    It's really good that Sri Lanka is producing some great new cricketers because after the 3 seniors( Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga) retire, Sri Lankan cricket will have a tough time finding good players. I hope Perera, Mathews and Chandimal all progress rapidly.

  • jackthelad on July 25, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    You like IPL? That's your choice, but it means you don't like cricket. Jayawardene had his tongue firmly in his cheek, and good luck to him - IPL has destroyed all the virtues that make cricket great.

  • on July 25, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Obviously IPL helps players. Ashwin is a good find, so is Umesh Yadav. What's wrong in it ? And remember Kohli's knocks in last CL 20 knockouts (or was that IPL itself) where he played back to back 70+ knocks while chasing ? that helped his confidence grow and now he plays really BIG KNOCKS especially while chasing. And Mahela started opening for Punjab which he did for SL too. Smith who had been almost forgotten by WI played for MI, opened for them. And see now he is opening for WI and doing wonders for his team. Agreed IPL has its own plus and negative points. But bashing it just because of your hatred for India is not good.

  • on July 25, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    This guy Perera is impressive. I remember his first match against India in which he took 5 wickets. Since then, he has worked on his batting too. Good handy batsman down the order @ No. 8 but he doesn't know at all that there's something called off-side too in Cricket. All shots on Leg side. Against other teams he may perform or may not but against India don't know how but he delivers every time either with bat or ball or both.

  • on July 25, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    What a find Perera has been for SLC... Mahela needs to find a few more youngsters to attach to the bunch of Mathews,Perera,Chandimal and Thiri ...Then the youngsters will be good enough to take the reigns from the seniors

    Hussain M alavi... In fact the vice versa of what you have said is true...Amla refused many offers to keep IPL out his way..! Surely Amla will never play in IPL...!

  • KelvinLTR on July 25, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    @ramuk: you certainly didn't get the sarcasm in Mahela's words

  • Tusker17 on July 25, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Why dont we try opening with Perera ? Remember where Jayasuriya batted when he first started out folks ? Any thoughts...........

  • Tusker17 on July 25, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    IPL help player ? LMAO - Sure fiancially and nothing more ! Wonder whats wrong with Jayawardena these days!

  • johnathonjosephs on July 25, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Its ironic that the IPL helps other countries, but their own country, India, struggles with everything else

  • Nirojan88 on July 25, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Mahela.... No More Doubtz.. U r rocking nowadyz in Captaincy!!!!!

  • ranuk on July 25, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    With all respect to Pollock, Mahela is trying to show how important is IPL. Of course he need IPL money.

  • Master_Mihil on July 25, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Well, the last time india travelled for a tri series in srilanka, they were gone for 103 and SL won it 209 balls remaining, that's india's heaviest defeat against any team in terms of balls remaining. And guess what Thisara Perera took 5 wickets in that match, and it says in match report thisara is SL's india specialist. So Thisara is always lethal against india. It's their fault they underestimated hime again. The way he bowled in yesterdays match how menacingly he swung the ball into the right hander i was sure he going to do well. I've never seen him bowl like that.

  • ranuk on July 25, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    I really appreciate Pollok's advices to young Tissara Perera. But IPL has occured severe damage to SL cricket as key SL players are not giving their 100% to win matches against IND. The best example is Malinga! He also refused to sign the contract with SL cricket bcoz of the 10 times more income from IPL.

  • stormy16 on July 25, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Said this before but its time for Ramanayake as the fast bowling coach who has produced very little in a long time. Sure he has unearthed talent but looking at the SL fast bowlers in Eng and SA where conditions suited them, they hardly managed to land a ball in good areas or present the seam. Amazing that a brief session with Polly would have such a positive impact on Perera and Polly isnt really a known coach. I think Perera's showing in the last few months deserves a consistent run in test cricket - its not like SL have a string of fast bowlers taking loads of wickets. He brings something with the bat which can be developed in to something of a dangerous lower order batsman who can change any game. The guy is special and must be given every chance to blossom.

  • joseyesu on July 25, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Perera, Mathews, Maharoof will be in the competition till WC15 and it is a very good chance for SL, whereas Ind has I.Pathan for that all rounder slot. Let's hope they are not injured till that period.

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    ALSO SAME THING IN LAST (THIRD) TEST WITH PAKISTHAN, IF WE TRY THISARA EARLY IN THE BATTING ORDER AS A TRIAL THE RESULT MIGHT BE FAVOUR FOR SL

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    In first ODI, that I thought thisara should come down to bat before lahiru & anjelo,.... but it was not happen ...think end of the match we needed to win 21 runs

  • on July 25, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    If its true that, Pollock improved the ability of Perera, Heads off to South African who taught him to best bowler of the season.

  • Sobat on July 25, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I think this is so good for SLC...but we need to look after them.... only area that im concern in SLC team is the midle order batting... now days we dont see anybody like Arjuna/ Aravinda / Azurdeen / Salim Malik / Andy Flower who can play the gaps and work the ball and yet make 50 from 50 balls without a big hits....the only option SL had was Chamara Silva but he didnt get his place ....

  • on July 25, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Indian team plaid poor cricket in their all form of the game batting,bowling and fielding.Sri Lanken team showed their strength all form of the game so don't ever under estimate Sri Lanken team because they are well balance team more than any team only fact they want to focus and fine tune their rhythm.I am sure they will make their mistakes and ended up this series 4-1.All the best for the T20 world cup.

  • on July 25, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    IPL Totally ignored the best talents.for example Hashem Amla. then this guy Thissara Perera. these guys should have bought for Millions, instead of R

  • Udendra on July 25, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    now why do I see this as an attempt to praise the IPL?

  • AneYako on July 25, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    The next generation of Lankan players are slowly but surely getting into form, one after another. Good stuff

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Perera is the guy for SL.. He is just as good as anyone with nagging line and length with both new ball as well in middle overs.. He along with Mathews are the guys who can strangle any team in middle overs.. And, take their batting.. Genuine all rounders are always a asset to any team..

  • Lakpj on July 25, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    Many people underestimate Perera, that is why he keeps on surprising all the teams, 65 wickets in 41 ODI games is better than most other top class bowlers in the world. he taken wickets in most pitches he had played, from subcontinent to Aus. Mathews is more of a batting all rounder where as Perera is more a bowling all rounder. If both of them can improve in their respective disciplines which either one is some what behind, SL cricket would be very well served.

  • Uppercut07 on July 25, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    India may as well ve found their next tendulkar in kholi, on the other hand SL probably have found their next jayasuriyas(allround impact) in perera and mathews!!!!!!!

  • Meety on July 25, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    The other thing, combined with Matthews, SL having 2 pace bowling allrounders, means they really can go into test matches with 2 specialist spinners.

  • Meety on July 25, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Couple of things, the file photo makes him look like he has impossibly long arms (Freddy Kruegar?). Second thing, he is coming along nicely with his bowling in ODIs, a S/R of 25 over the course of 40 odd matches is NOT easy. He seems to be a bloke with the "midas" touch". Very beneficial for SL if he can improve his bowling stats in Tests. Look fwd to seeing him (maybe?) in the tests in Oz!

  • sAiyAnstAr on July 25, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    Wonderful revelation for the Sri Lankans. I am really looking forward to the new crop of Sri Lankan players, a very bright future ahead.

  • gayansumeera2 on July 24, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Jayawardane no doubt you are the best captain in the world!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • gayansumeera2 on July 24, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Jayawardane no doubt you are the best captain in the world!

  • sAiyAnstAr on July 25, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    Wonderful revelation for the Sri Lankans. I am really looking forward to the new crop of Sri Lankan players, a very bright future ahead.

  • Meety on July 25, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Couple of things, the file photo makes him look like he has impossibly long arms (Freddy Kruegar?). Second thing, he is coming along nicely with his bowling in ODIs, a S/R of 25 over the course of 40 odd matches is NOT easy. He seems to be a bloke with the "midas" touch". Very beneficial for SL if he can improve his bowling stats in Tests. Look fwd to seeing him (maybe?) in the tests in Oz!

  • Meety on July 25, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    The other thing, combined with Matthews, SL having 2 pace bowling allrounders, means they really can go into test matches with 2 specialist spinners.

  • Uppercut07 on July 25, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    India may as well ve found their next tendulkar in kholi, on the other hand SL probably have found their next jayasuriyas(allround impact) in perera and mathews!!!!!!!

  • Lakpj on July 25, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    Many people underestimate Perera, that is why he keeps on surprising all the teams, 65 wickets in 41 ODI games is better than most other top class bowlers in the world. he taken wickets in most pitches he had played, from subcontinent to Aus. Mathews is more of a batting all rounder where as Perera is more a bowling all rounder. If both of them can improve in their respective disciplines which either one is some what behind, SL cricket would be very well served.

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Perera is the guy for SL.. He is just as good as anyone with nagging line and length with both new ball as well in middle overs.. He along with Mathews are the guys who can strangle any team in middle overs.. And, take their batting.. Genuine all rounders are always a asset to any team..

  • AneYako on July 25, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    The next generation of Lankan players are slowly but surely getting into form, one after another. Good stuff

  • Udendra on July 25, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    now why do I see this as an attempt to praise the IPL?

  • on July 25, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    IPL Totally ignored the best talents.for example Hashem Amla. then this guy Thissara Perera. these guys should have bought for Millions, instead of R