Karunaratne nominated for ICC Test Player of the Year award

Dimuth Karunaratne has been nominated for the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year 2021 award.

A batting stalwart, a spin wizard, an emerging fast-bowling superstar and a dogged opener constitute the nominees for the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year 2021 award.

The ICC said that Karunaratne led the charge for his side in the longest format. He showcased what a brilliant all-condition player he is and cemented his case for being the best opener in Test cricket right now.

A brilliant century in Johannesburg against South Africa, two centuries against Bangladesh in two matches in Pallekele, including a double ton, and a brilliant century against West Indies in Galle were some of the highlights from another stunning year for Karunaratne.

Sturdy at the top of the order, Karunaratne nullified various new-ball attacks throughout the year before unleashing the strokes once he had his eye in. With Sri Lankan cricket in a period of transition, the skipper will again be tasked with being the beacon of their batting order as a new era is ushered in.

On a Wanderers pitch that was assisting the pacers and with the likes of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi in the South African attack, Karunaratne played a brilliant attacking knock of 103 off 128 deliveries, showcasing his character.

Scoring runs was difficult on this pitch as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 157 in the first innings and South Africa could only reply with a score of 302. Karunaratne’s knock in the second innings consisted of 19 boundaries but unfortunately, he failed to get any support from the other end as the visitors were skittled out for 211.

That Karunaratne scored almost half the runs for his side and no other batter even managed to reach a score of 40 further highlighted the classy nature of his ton.

South Africa would eventually seal a 10-wicket victory, but Karunaratne’s knock will be spoken of for ages. (Colombo Gazette)