7Sports app

Dilshan hopes MCG is pitch perfect

Sportal December 21, 2012, 3:56 pm
Tillakaratne Dilshan

Getty Images © Enlarge photo

Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is hoping for better pitch conditions throughout the second Test at the MCG, starting on Boxing Day.

Dilshan compiled a brilliant 147 in the first innings in Hobart but only managed 11 in the second dig as Australia eventually beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs.

The Blundstone Arena pitch attracted plenty of headlines leading into the Test after a major re-surface was done on the arena and while the pitch did not quite live up to its venomous reputation in the Test, a number of batsmen still struggled with the uneven bounce.

The three-match series now moves to Melbourne and the former captain said he is looking forward to his maiden Test match at the MCG, a venue where the pitch has never been quite as hostile.

"We have never played a Test match here," said Dilshan, referring to the fact that he and many of his team-mates were not in the Test side for Sri Lanka's only five-day game at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1995.

"We played a one-day match here and won.

"The wicket here is very good for batting, especially on the second and third day.

"We will see how the wicket is behaving here and hopefully it's not up and down like the last day in Hobart."

The 36-year-old is in the twilight of his career and admits the tour of Australia could be his last before calling it quits from Test cricket as he looks to focus on the shorter form of the game.

"I spoke to my managers and my family about how far I want to play Test cricket and one-dayers," Dilshan said.

"One-dayers I'm definitely going to play in the 2015 World Cup, that's my target but I'm not sure how long I'm going to play Test cricket.

"After this Test series finishes, I'm going to take the decision of how far I'll play Test cricket. I want to finish this tournament, I'm thinking about retirement (at the moment).

"After this series, I'll sit down with my wife and family and discuss when I'm going to finish Test cricket ... (Sydney Test) might be last from outside of Sri Lanka."

Dilshan also quashed talk of a potential return to Test cricket for paceman Lasith Malinga, who has spent time with the team's bowlers ahead of the Wednesday's blockbuster.

Malinga retired from the Test arena in 2010, electing to focus on one-day and Twenty20 cricket and he has flourished for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League this season, leading the bowling charts with eight wickets.

His form has sparked calls for a return ahead of the Sydney Test but Dilshan played down such suggestions.

"I don't think he is coming back to Test cricket," he said.

"He wants to concentrate on one-day international and Twenty20 cricket. He wants to be 100 percent fit in the shorter form of the game that's why he made the decision to stop Test cricket.

"If he comes back, it would be good for the side. Everyone would be happy to see him back but I don't think he will change his mind."

COMPARE & SAVE