Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan: Sri Lanka’s Mr. FIX-IT (Tribute to TMD)

He wasn’t the most elagnant, nor wasn’t the most charismatic, nor wasn’t the most desctructive………, but what set him apart from the rest was he never tried be what he was not. He just decided to be DILSHAN, which ironically made others want to be like him….. He played the game in a way only he would understand…. a way that one needed to see the final result to comprehend what he actually tried to do…. kinda like Captain Jack Sparrow.…. the ear-ring, fancy goatee and the durag……… see the connection?………
And he did everything too, in whites…. batting, bowling, fielding, wicket-keeping….. openning the bowling, openning the batting… er.. I guess it’s easier to look at what he didn’t do…. He was Sri Lanka’s Mr. FIX IT:

Need a finisher? Call Dilshan
Need an Openning bat? Call Dilshan
Need an Openning bowler? Call Dilshan
Need a point fielder? Call Dilshan
Need a boundary rider? Call Dilshan
Need a wicket-keeper? Call Dishan
Need a CAPTAIN???? Call Dilshan
Need a SCAPEGOAT??? Call Dilshan

He made a "Brand-Dilshan", something Sri Lankan test team is going to miss, that lust to WIN not just to COMPETE one way or the other……..

Here’s a bit of Dilshan Brand of Cricket………..

100 v England at Asgiriya, 2003
Tillakaratne Dilshan’s second Test ton came four years after his first. After having moved in and out of the team since his debut 1999, Dilshan finally established himself in the Test side with a sparkling 100 from 129 balls against England. He had been left out for the first Test in Galle, but upon being recalled, top-scored for his team with 63 in the first innings, before hitting 13 fours and a hooked six in an aggressive century that set up Sri Lanka’s declaration late on the fourth day. He followed this with an 83 in the series-clinching innings victory at SSC in the next match.

104 v Australia in Galle, 2004
The Test will be remembered for Australia’s remarkable comeback, engineered by an irresistible Shane Warne, but Sri Lanka had dominated the first innings, thanks in part to another attractive Dilshan ton. Arriving at No.5, Dilshan used his feet to the dual legspin threat of Warne and Stuart MacGill to compile a more measured innings than he was accustomed to at the time. His 104 from 188 balls featured 12 fours and a six, and had helped establish a 161-run lead which Sri Lanka would go on to squander in the second innings.

92 v New Zealand in Galle, 2009
Dilshan hit six Test hundreds in his transformative year, but his brutal 92 from 72 balls best showcased his ability to define the outlook of a match inside a session. After a late start on day one, Dilshan walloped New Zealand’s attack from the outset, and hooked and pulled disdainfully when they attempted to counter with a series of short deliveries. He hit a hundred in the second dig as well, but New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori later admitted it was his first-innings that had sapped the visiting attack and set the tone for the match, and the series, which Sri Lanka won 2-0.

193 v England at Lord’s, 2011
Sri Lanka’s batsmen collapsed abysmally to surrender Dilshan’s first Test at the helm in Cardiff, but at Lord’s Dilshan responded with his best-ever knock to ensure the series would not slip further. Driving with abandon and hooking and pulling to good effect when tested, Dilshan hit 20 fours and 2 sixes off an attack featuring Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett

Remarkably, he had made most of his runs with a fractured thumb, which he suffered on 55.

Durban, 2011
His stint as Sri Lanka captain mirrors his Test career – significant contributions hidden under otherwise seemingly ordinary numbers. Dilshan captained Sri Lanka in 11 Tests and the only match he won as captain was probably their most important win overseas, against South Africa at Durban.

147 v Australia in Hobart, 2012
On a dismal tour of Australia that ended in a whitewash, Dilshan’s charge on the third morning was the only session in which Sri Lanka had the better of their opponents. Severe on anything short, Dilshan made his fifteenth trip to triple figures in 148 balls, before slowing down when he lost partner Angelo Mathews, who had helped him rescue the Sri Lanka innings from 87 for 4. His knock was the top score of the series for batsmen of either side.

Few have adapted their game to the requirements of their team as he has: of the 11 batsmen in Tests to have scored 2000 or more runs at No. 6, he is the only one to have also scored 2000-plus runs opening the batting.

Chittagong, 2008
He is the only player in Test history to score 300-plus runs and take four wickets in a single Test match.

2009- The Year of Dilshan
His best year in Test cricket in terms of numbers was 2009 – that year, he became only the third Sri Lanka batsman after Aravinda de Silva and Mahela Jayawardene to score five or more hundreds in a calendar year.

Ultimate Team man
He has batted in the top order and the middle. In Tests, he has opened the bowling as well as the batting. He fields at backward point when the battle is thickest there, but ranges the boundary or lurks at long off, if the straight boundary is under threat. He has kept wickets for a whole series too – admirably well for someone with such sparse technique.

Images Courtesy  ©AFP, ©Getty Images, © Associated Press
Stats Couresy: espncricinfo

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