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Dimuth Karunarathne is struggling?

Dimuth Karunarathne picked up by Mitchell Starc, has been the familiar mention on the three scorecards of Sri Lanka vs Australia Test series so far.

1st innings of the 1st Test
4.1
Starc to Karunaratne, OUT, given. Starc strikes. Karunaratne reviews. Tails back in sharply, fuller than the lbw shout in the previous over. Smashes Dimuth on the pads, flush in front of middle and leg. Doesn't look like any edge. Karunaratne just misses his flick and this looks like trouble for DK.
FDM Karunaratne lbw b Starc 5 (22m 12b 0x4 0x6) SR: 41.66

2nd innings of the 1st Test
2.5
Starc to Karunaratne, OUT, given. Starc has another. Karunaratne plays around a full ball from Starc yet again and is given. He chooses to review though. Pitches on middle and leg, and deviates back in. Strikes Karunarate in front of leg but is it going over the stumps? Looks like the on-field call should be enough. All this needs to do is clip the stumps in any shape or form. All reds on ball-tracking and Karunaratne has to go. Beaten for pace again, Karunaratne is late on his attempted flick and is struck in front. Day 3 doesn't start well for SL.
FDM Karunaratne lbw b Starc 0 (6m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
Source – ESPN ball by ball coverage

1st innings of the 2nd Test
0.1
Starc to Karunaratne, OUT, dream start for Australia off a delivery Starc wouldn't really want to bowl again in this Test. Juicy half-volley on the pads, no swing whatsoever, and Karunaratne clips if straight to Burns at midwicket. He failed to keep it down and has to make the long walk back. Starc couldn't believe his luck.
FDM Karunaratne c Burns b Starc 0 (1m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
Source – ESPN ball by ball coverage

Dimuth, being an opening batsman only have faced 16 balls in the 3 innings so far and 15 of them have been delivered by Mitchell Starc and the other by Josh Hazelwood. All 3 dismissals have one common thing as far as I have seen on television screen which Dimuth is staying deep in his crease and trying to meet the ball only with the bat just as poking at it. Dimuth seems to have a mental barrier against Mitchell Starc and his thunder bolts.

He has been trying different things, series by series of late and I think it has been his downfall. He tried a couple of things in the recently concluded England series as well, such as taking an off stump guard to negate the nick in the 2nd Test as he got out nicking to Wicket Keeper in both innings of the 1st Test. What actually happened was the action he took to negate the nick back fired in big time as once he was bowled round the legs by James Anderson, as his leg stump was not covered at all in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test.

2.4
Anderson to Karunaratne, OUT, bowled round the legs! Whoops, he tried to flick one off the pads, and I don't really know how the ball ended up there. He's loitering at the crease, as if confused by the mode of dismissal. But Anderson's shape has been from leg to off, so it stands to reason that a ball outside leg would hit leg!
FDM Karunaratne b Anderson 9 (13m 14b 1×4 0x6) SR: 64.28
Source – ESPN ball by ball coverage

It is not a bad thing to try out different thing or two to counter weaknesses or adjustments or whatever he calls it, but most of them had not worked for him to his dismay. But he should not hurry things as even our own great Kumar Sangakkara tried few things out in the middle and more often than not they worked for him. In my opnion, Sangakkara began countering his weaknesses and adjustments after he settled as a batsman first, and I don’t think Dimuth is a settled batsman seeing his record even after 57 Test innings in 29 Test matches.

Dimuth should not hurry and if he wants to bat better against Mitchell Starc he could study Kusal Mendis handling Starc. Kusal bats with a lot of confidence against Starc. His bat and pad comes in together and they are not rooted to the crease as Dimuth’s.

One particular thing about his career so far is that out of his 57 Test innings only 11 of them has been 50 or more which is rather ordinary these days and a lot of single digit scores as well as a lot of 20s and 30s.

He should not try too many things and I think he should try to embrace and continue what has worked for him during his four year tenure as an opening batsman of Sri Lanka Test team, at this point of his career. The problem for him in my opinion is that a mental barrier which he has not yet overcome and with the talent he possesses and technique he has I am sure this is just a temporary period and he will overcome it subject to future opportunities he would get.

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