Dilruwan Perera. (Image courtesy: Getty)
Dilruwan Perera (Image courtesy: Getty)

While India dominated Sri Lanka on the opening day of the third Test, Dilruwan Perera had a special day in the office. Dismissing Shikhar Dhawan for 23, he became the fastest Sri Lankan to scalp 100 wickets in terms of matches. Muttiah Muralitharan rules most of the bowling records, and therefore to go past him is an achievement for any bowler. Perera, at 35, has registered the feat in his 25th Test. He was thrilled to join the 100-wicket club, though he expected to surpass it in the first Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

‘I was the fastest to 50 wickets as well’

“I was actually hoping the 100 wickets will be completed in Kolkata. When I came to India, I needed seven wickets to get there. But couldn’t make it. Nevertheless, I am glad that I have achieved the milestone in my 25th Test match. I was the fastest to take 50 Test wickets as well. Ajantha Mendis had got there in 11 matches I think. I knew that Murali (Muralitharan) had taken 100 wickets in 27 Tests so glad to get there in 25 games.”

‘I am not looking at too many milestones’

“Even Rangana Herath got a proper go in the side when he was 31 having got fewer opportunities earlier on in his career. I made my debut when I was 32 and you can learn a lot by looking up to Rangana as you move forward. I am not looking at too many milestones. I am 35 now and I will be glad if I end up with 200 Test wickets. I will keep trying. I need to keep fit, need to ensure that my form is good and that I wouldn’t lose my place in the side.”

‘You need to bowl good balls if yo intend to dismiss him’

“As for (Virat) Kohli, whenever we play against him, we can’t afford to send him too many loose balls. If you do, he will cash in. If you go on the back foot, he will attack. You need to keep bowling good balls at him if you intend to dismiss him.

When you are scoring 400 plus runs, the batsmen have used the wicket for a considerable time and when the wicket has wear and tear it helps spinners. That happened in the series against Pakistan when we battled for more than four sessions. Unfortunately, against India that has not happened. India are still batting when the wicket is good.”