Seasoned Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan on Wednesday said that he would continue to play his trademark ‘Dilscoop’ shot at the ongoing World Twenty20 tournament.
Dilshan, who invented his patented scoop shot to make the ball sail over the rival wicketkeeper’s head, said he will continue to do what he has been doing for years as an opener to make the bowlers think.
“If I play that shot – ‘Dilscoop’ – and some reverse sweep, the bowlers will have to think twice. I am not going to change anything. Since 2009 I have played it and have been successful. I will do the same thing,” said Dilshan during the World T20 open media session in Mumbai.
Dilshan said he started playing that innovative shot as he wanted to put the ball a little bit more behind the wicketkeeper to be safe.
“I remember the 2009 second edition in IPL in South Africa. Everyone played the paddle sweep and I wanted to put a little bit more behind the wicketkeeper to be safe, that’s why I played one shot against (the then IPL team) Deccan Chargers,” he said.
Dilshan said ‘Dilscoop’ had upset Deccan Chargers’ captain and then Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who stood back to take the catch if he repeated the hit, that helped him advance down the track to attack the bowler.
“Gilchrist was the captain of that side behind the stumps. After I played that shot he was upset and went further behind the stumps. I felt it was then more easy to go down the track and hit the ball as the wicketkeeper was not close behind. I did not play that shot afterwards in that tournament,” he recollected.
“I went to Sri Lanka and practised it for one month with the tennis ball just before the (2009 T20) World Cup. After practice I got more confident before the tournament. In the first game (a ball from) Shane Watson went for a six (with that shot) and from then on I played that shot with increased success and got the man of the tournament award. Now all players try to play that shot,” said the 39-year-old batsman.
Dilshan said he does not fear while playing that shot.
“No, no, I played that shot when (Mitchell) Starc (of Australia) bowled at 149k pace. It went for a six. I am not scared. I have two options. If the ball is full I am going to paddle and if it is a little bit short, I play my ‘Dilscoop’. That’s why I am successful from 2009 to now. I have got out only two or three times while playing ‘Dilscoop’.”
“Now my kids have already started playing ‘Dilscoop’.
There’s no need (for me) to show them (the video). My son is playing ‘Dilscoop’ better than me,” he quipped on a lighter note.
The senior cricketer said that the team will use its experience of playing in India, including in IPL, to defend the World T20 title.
“We came here to win the World Cup. We have come to play good cricket, starting from tomorrow (when Sri Lanka take on New Zealand in a warm up match at the Wankhede Stadium here). We have a lot of experience (playing in India), playing in IPL and other tournaments as well.
“Just before this World (T20) Cup we played three T20s against India which is good for the youngsters who are coming for the first or second time. We know how to adjust to wickets, conditions,” he added.
On his former captain and teammate Mahela Jayawardane’s new role as England’s batting coach he said, “This is not the first time (such a thing is happening). (Chaminda) Vaas is coaching Bangladesh. That is the part of their life. I don’t think anything for us.”
On the chances of him bowling off breaks in the tournament, he said he will try and bowl three overs after discussing with captain Angelo Mathews.
“Then the team can have more balance,” he said.