Would love to get my favourite cricketer Virat Kohli’s wicket someday: Hasaranga

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10 Dec 2021 | 03:22 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Would love to get my favourite cricketer Virat Kohli’s wicket someday: Hasaranga

The legspinner doesn't want to get compared with other legends of the game

Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga is only 24 but has already made quite a name for himself in white-ball cricket. The legspinner is hands down Sri Lanka’s most valuable player in ODIs and T20Is and is currently the top-ranked bowler in the shortest format of the game. He was the leading wicket-taker at the 2021 T20 World Cup, with 16 scalps in eight encounters.

When asked to name the batters he wants to dismiss in his career, Hasaranga said: “I would love to get my favourite cricketer Virat Kohli’s wicket someday. I also want to pick Babar Azam and Glenn Maxwell’s wickets as well.”

Hasaranga played a couple of games under Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second half of IPL 2021.

Hasaranga made his T20I debut in September 2019 and has an astonishing record in this format, having picked up  52 wickets in 33 games at an average of 13.71 and a strike rate of 13.2. In 2021 itself, Hasaranga has claimed 36 wickets in 20 games. The 24-year-old said he always looks for wickets and doesn’t want to get compared with other legends of the game.

"When I am bowling, I always try to take wickets. When I am in the national team, I always try to do my best for the team. That’s why I am successful. I am always motivated to perform. I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t want to be the next Muralitharan or the next Herath. I want to be the first Hasaranga."

Talking about the importance of wristspinners in T20 cricket, Hasaranga said: “Legspinners can do anything. Because in T20 cricket, batsmen are going to hit big shots. We have a lot of variations. Sometimes, we can get hit for 40-50 runs in a match. But in the next match, we find a way to get back and pick 4-5 wickets. Legspinners can win matches.”

Sri Lanka couldn’t qualify for the knockouts in the T20 World Cup but the likes of Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Maheesh Theekshana and Chamika Karunaratne managed to impress everyone with their skillsets. Hasaranga feels that the Lanka Premier League has played a big part in the recent rise of Sri Lanka cricket.  

“Last time, we saw a lot of youngsters doing a good job in Lanka Premier League. In this kind of tournament, we always get a lot of good players. That is why Sri Lanka Cricket is better than the last few years. These kinds of tournaments are always good for the growth of the sport in a nation.”

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