The star performance of batsman Kusal Mendis stood at the fore, as captain Dinesh Chandimal summarised Sri Lanka’s year.
The 23-year-old Mendis struck the second most runs in Test cricket in 2018. His tally of 1023 in 23 innings was lower only than Indian captain Virat Kohli’s 1322 in 24.
‘Kusal thinks a lot about his game off the field from day to day, and he’s a player with a big future. I’ve congratulated him on getting to 1000 runs and that he did it at such a young age. That’s a big achievement. I hope he can play just as well going forward,’ said Chandimal.
Sri Lanka relished Test series victories over Bangladesh and South Africa in 2018, but were defeated by England and New Zealand. They shared a series draw with the West Indies, too.
‘I think overall the Test team has done pretty well this year. The major regret is that we weren’t able to take the chances we had to turn that England series around,’ added Chandimal.
‘But as a captain, I’m really happy about the style of cricket we played this year. There are [nevertheless] big areas for improvement. We need to change those things and make sure the coming year is a good one.’
Fast bowler Kasun Rajitha, meanwhile, showed plenty of promise with 11 wickets in two Tests against the West Indies, but later struggled against New Zealand.
‘Kasun was playing his first Test in New Zealand, and he’s got things he can improve. He’s a very good bowler. When a pitch is good for batting, we need to learn a little bit more how we can bowl better on those pitches, and that’s something you get with experience,’ concluded Chandimal.