Tillakaratne Dilshan: Sri Lanka’s Unsung Hero Across Formats

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Colombo: The last of the modern era doyens of Sri Lanka’s cricket, Tillakaratne Dilshan, is playing his final international game, a Twenty20 international against Australia on Friday (September 9). In a career that lasted nearly 17 years, Dilshan was perhaps the silent hero in many of Sri Lanka’s successful heists. He didn’t command the obdurate technique of Aravinda de Silva, the class of Mahela Jayawardene or the consistency of Kumar Sangakkara, but Dilshan’s role in many of Sri Lanka’s biggest wins cannot be understated.

Modern cricket is defined by innovations and there’s no one better exponent of it than Dilshan. The fine paddle sweep was still in its infancy, largely played against spinners, but when Dilshan employed it to great effect against the fast bowlers, it began a rage worldwide. The ‘Dilscoop’ as it’s now known had a pioneering effect in cricket – with every batsman worth his salt attempting to master the shot.

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In a career that has lasted nearly 17 years, across all formats of the game, it’s difficult to pinpoint his greatest ever knocks, but here’s what we feel are some of his best innings – spread across all formats of the game, in no specific order.

 

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