SA in SL: I call myself a mystery spinner – Akila Dananjaya

22 July 2018 - 60   - 0

Like Ajantha Mendis, Akila Dananjaya bowls wrist spin with the action of an off-spinner, making it difficult for the batsman to read. 

But unlike Mendis, Dananjaya did not establish his place in the side almost immediately after his debut. 

Dananjaya made his international debut back in 2012, when then national skipper Mahela Jayawardena hand-picked him for the T20 World Cup but after few ODIs and T20s, Dananjaya did not find favour with the selectors. 

But he became an overnight sensation against India with a match haul of 6 for 54 in an ODI game marking his second-coming in style. 

And on Saturday against the world No. 2 ranked team, Dananjaya produced yet another splendid performance with the ball, claiming his maiden five wicket haul to put South Africa under a spin test. 

He is mystery to many batsmen as he bowls googley and the legs spin other than the off-spin and the bowl that got Thenuis de Bruyn caught behind was a perfect example of how subtle variation could unsettle a batsman. 

Dananjaya bowls a straighter one outside the off stumps but de Bruyn expected it turn and ended up edging it to the keeper. 

“I call myself as a mystery bowler. Because, other than the off spin, I use the leg spin and googley as well. Even today, I used the leg spin and the googley,” he said at the post-match press conference. 

Praising his two senior partners, Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera, he says kept it simple keeping a tide line and length. 

“I was not doing anything big other than keeping a tidy line and length. But towards the end, I varied the ball,” he added. 

With Rangana Herath set to retire towards at the end of the England series later this year, young spinner is expected step up and fill the void but he says it’s no easy task. 

“I don’t think we can fill that void very easy,” he says.

“He is a legend. Since Rangana and Dilruwan are there at the moment, I have lot to learn from them. It's very easy for me to play alongside them”. 

Dananjaya who made an unbeaten 43 with the bat said he is putting lots of hard yards to improve his batting during practices.

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