Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera who became the fastest Sri Lankan bowler to take 100 Test wickets playing in his 25th Test aims to take 200 Test wickets before he retires.
Perera is on the wrong side of 35 but is inspired by the fact that Rangana Herath his spin partner got a break when he was 31 after getting opportunities on and off and has gone onto become the leading left-arm spinner in Test history with 406 wickets from 87 Tests.
“I made my debut when I was 32. I hope to do well in all the matches that we have and move forward. With my age, I will be glad if I can take 200 Test wickets. I will keep trying,” said Perera.
Talking of his achievement Perera said, “I knew about it. I was the fastest to take 50 Test wickets as well (in 11 Tests). Ajantha Mendis had that record. I knew Murali had done it in 27 matches. I was thinking if I could get there two matches prior to this, but that wasn’t to be. Going into the Kolkatta Test I only needed seven wickets to complete 100 Test wickets but couldn’t get there. I am glad that I have got the milestone in 25 Tests.” It was the catch that Suranga Lakmal took at deep backward square leg to dismiss Sikhar Dhawan that gave Perera the milestone.
“I thought Suranga would take the catch as he came straight down, but when he fell off and the shoe came off, I had my reservations. In the end it was a good catch.”
Perera said the failure of the batsmen to put runs on the board has not helped their bowling unit.
“We had a good series against Pakistan. Here we have not been able to score centuries. If we can score 400 or 450, that will help us to fight. Not having that makes our job as bowlers tough,” said Perera.
“When you are scoring 400 plus the batsmen have used the wicket a lot and when the wicket has wear and tear it helps the spinners. That happened against Pakistan when we batted for more than four sessions. That makes up conditions well for spinners. But here the Indian batsmen are batting when the wicket is still good. They are always trying to score runs. They won’t let us settle in. They use the crease and they don’t let us bowl to one line. It is tough playing them,” he said.