Dilshan set to open against New Zealand

GALLE:Tillakaratne Dilshan will add another feather to his all-rounder’s cap when he opens batting for Sri Lanka in the first Test against New Zealand starting from Tuesday.

Dilshan agreed to open to lend balance to the team despite playing all his 55 Tests so far in the middle-order where he has scored 3,166 runs with eight centuries. “Dilshan is the sort of guy who would willingly do any job for the team,” captain Kumar Sangakkara said ahead of the Test in Galle.

Dilshan is the joker in the Sri Lankan pack with his multi-dimensional talents that Sangakkara and other captains before him have gladly taken advantage of. Dilshan also bowls off-spin and even kept wickets in the recent three home Tests against Pakistan after first-choice wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene was ruled out with knee injury.

It turned out to be a tough series for Dilshan, who fractured a finger in his right hand while keeping wickets and then took a blow over his left eye while batting. The injuries forced Dilshan to miss the subsequent One-day series against Pakistan, but signalled his comeback by making 68 in a tour game against New Zealand in Colombo last week.