West Indies in Sri Lanka 2010-11 February 5, 2011

Tharanga aims for greater consistency


Upul Tharanga's ninth ODI hundred gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead over the West Indies in their three-match ODI series, and the opener has said that the plan was for him to bat through the innings once he got a start.

"The team management and the captain had a chat with me and said that what they expect from me is if I get a start to bat till 40 or 45 overs. They said they would be happy if I get 80 or 90 runs by that stage and that's what I am trying to do"

Tharanga played that role to perfection in Sri Lanka's run chase of 197 off 47 overs, contributing an unbeaten 101 off 143 balls and helping his team get there in the 43rd over. But it was not easy chasing down the runs, especially when he had to keep one eye on the weather and the other on the required run rate.

"We had a plan to get to 20 overs without losing too many wickets," Tharanga said. "We were doing well by that stage and we didn't take undue risks as things were pretty much under control. There were slight drizzles and we had one eye on the weather.

"We didn't get a chance to bat in the first game and the way this game was going, I had a feeling that we wouldn't get a chance to bat. But thankfully the weather cleared and it was good to finish off the game.

"Our bowlers have been bowling well and we had a target less than 200. Our plan was for one of the top four batsmen to go on till the 40th over. I got a start and once that happened I thought I should finish the game off."

It was soon after the last World Cup in 2007 that Tharanga lost his form and he struggled for more than two years to regain it. "I am not at my best yet, but I can improve. I want to be a consistent batsman for the team. Consistency is the most important thing for a batsman."

The 27-year-old left-hander is fortunate that his opening partners have both been aggressive players, which allows him to play his natural game without taking undue risks. "Sanath [Jayasuriya] takes a lot of risks. [Tillakaratne] Dilshan is the same. They are free flowing. I try to bat my normal way. If the target is big then I have to adapt. When I am playing with the two of them I can play my natural game.

"From the day I came into the team Kumar [Sangakkara] and Mahela [Jayawardene] have given me lot of support. They insist on showing patience. If I fail to score a run in an over they come and say not to rush, that we could cash in during the latter overs.

"We played pretty well in the last tournament to reach the final, but simply because we reached the finals nothing is guaranteed this time around," said Tharanga. "We have to work hard and if we do, we can reach the finals. From the first game onwards we need to focus and do well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rashindu on February 6, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    During Oz championship run they had the accompany of a good spinner (S.Warne and Hogg, aleast Hogg provide wickets) But now theor bowling atack is really thin and besides they are missing a real big hitter in their line up. They had Hayden, Gilly and Symonds but now just Watson and some shabby hitting of Smith and may be Johnson. For Eng well they can be the team to be beaten since they seems to have every element but it seems something is missing, like how will they perform under the pressure of huge crowds like Indian, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Spectators of Asian countries are way more passionate about the game. The other two teams that could force the real threat are Pak and Banga and Banga will be the underdog and Pak will be the dark horse.Pak will always be there and there abouts and Banga will sure can create more than few substantial upsets during the campaign.

  • Rashindu on February 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    well I got to remind you that to me Sri Lanka has the best suited bowling attack. Me saying by best suited is that it's not one dimensional, with having the option of Fast seamer (Malinga) and accurate slow fast medium pacer (Kulasekara) and genuine all rounder (Maththews) and then a good spinners (Murali). And with Mendis, Herath, and Thissara in the ranks and with Dilshan's part timers Sri Lankan bowling attack is the best suited for conditions. If you take SA has the best seamers but their spin department is rather weak and India is missing a genuine fast bowler and they have been really vulnerable in death overs but their part timers are been more than effective. Also feel they don't have a real go to bowler but they have their X factor as Yusuf and if he uses his head, India can go for the distance. and for people who think Oz gonna be a real threat, well if they are to be one they will firs have to find a real good spinner cause they gonna suffer in sub continent conditions.

  • Dharmesh on February 6, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    S.L public is so tupid as they haven't seen Australia destroying England,how can you forget this team as they are defending champs,only team that can beat australia is India as we have beaten them when they were at full strength,not like S.L were they beat them also but not when Gilli,symonds,hayden are gone whereas India beat them when all those guys were playing,so please refresh your memories SLankans.

  • Dharmesh on February 6, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    There is no way S.L or SA going to win W.C as India holds upper hand on this 2 teams,we have beaten S.L in there backyard and also almost came away with series win against SA without Sehwag and Gambhir,also Zaheer was not 100%,so all you haters shut up,wait and watch,i will start talking after we win W.C.Go India.

  • Nagender on February 6, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Tharanga is a performer only against weeker teams, why you guys are arguing about someone who's heard about only now and then

  • alex on February 6, 2011, 7:52 GMT


    I dont think India will win it.I am also damn sure that Sri Lanka won't win it. Be prepared to eat your words.

  • Harshana on February 6, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    (b4 da world cup India won) Their fans hv high hopes abt them. Bt, I'm sure INDIA will lose their Q/F . so, very good chance for SRI LANKA this time.

  • maneesha on February 6, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    srilanka will win..sure..kapu will perform well...wait and see untill he scores runs...nonstoppable run machine..

  • Yasas on February 6, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    to the guy that said zaheer will get him out first over...zaheer khan is no match for lanka. theres no way india will win against us, sorry bro but you wait and watch

    to the guy that said india will win the world cup...india cant win the world cup because lanka will win it, yay!!

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    also wanted to mention...in the 1996 wc semi's both sanath and kalu got out in the 1st over ....so tell me what was the final result?

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