Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan
October 14, 1976, Kalutara
Also Known As
Tuwan Mohamad Dilshan
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
With his relentless aggression, strong wrists and natural timing, Tillakaratne Dilshan is one of the most exciting batsmen in the game today. He is technically sound, but, much like Virender Sehwag, he uses the defensive option only as a last resort, after all the attacking alternatives have been explored. He loves to make room and thrash the ball through the off side, but the stroke that bears his signature more than any other is the one he developed for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 - the eponymously named "Dilscoop" shot over his head, which confounded bowlers and experts alike.
In fact, 2009 was a watershed year in his career, and a huge factor was his move up the batting order to open the innings in all three forms of the game. It was a move that proved his making, as he exploited attacking fields and amassed huge scores in all formats: he scored 11 international hundreds in the year, and won the World Twenty20 Player of the Series prize.
Dilshan's abundant talent was never in doubt from the moment he made his debut, but he went through several early troughs, most notably when he was dropped from 2001 to 2003. Having burst onto the international scene with an unbeaten 163 against Zimbabwe in his first series in November 1999, Dilshan's career remained largely unfulfilled until he cemented his place as one of the most destructive openers in the modern era. Add his electric fielding, especially at backward point, and his underrated offspin, and Dilshan is a quality package. In 2011 he was named Sri Lanka's captain, after the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara, but his reign lasted less than a year, with Mahela Jayawardene replacing him after Sri Lanka's tour to South Africa in 2011-12. Like his team, Dilshan had had a poor run of form while he was captain, but his batting enjoyed a revival after being relieved of leadership, particularly in ODI cricket, where he was 2012's second-heaviest scorer, with 1119 runs.
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