Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne says he now regrets not coming to Pakistan earlier for the one-day international (ODI) and T20Is series in October.
Speaking to media in Karachi ahead of his side’s second Test against Pakistan, Karunaratne said that visiting Pakistan for the series has changed his perception about the country.
“Yeah, now I regret that,” said Karunaratne referring to his earlier decision of not touring Pakistan in September/October.
“I think at that time it was hard decision to take because I never had been in Pakistan and I had heard things on the news and on social media which were not good. But once the guys who came here gave us a really good feedback, we all seniors decided to visit Pakistan and play the Test series,” he shared.
Now that we are here, I feel good. I feel that I should have come and play ODIs,” the 31-year-old said.
He also appreciated the efforts by the Pakistani security officials, who Karunaratne said made the visitors feel one hundred per cent safe.
“I can say that I feel really safe here. The security guys are giving more than one hundred per cent and that is why we are feeling very good. We also went out for dinner and we enjoyed. My team and I feel safe here and I can say that Pakistan is now safe for the cricket. I can’t tell other teams but I can surely give my opinion,” he added.
When asked about any changes for the Islanders for the team tomorrow, the Sri Lankan captain confirmed that his side will go with at least one change in the second Test.
He, however, added that his side will wait till the morning to make a final call on the playing XI for the second Test
“We will definitely have one change, Kasun Rajitha will not play tomorrow, we have another pacer in place of him,” he confirmed.
“But we haven’t decided on our final XI yet, we will have a look at wicket tomorrow and see how things are in the morning what they are going to do with wickets, weather they leave the grass or not. I feel it will have turn on later on, that’s why we are waiting what curator is going to do tomorrow,” he shared.
Karunaratne added that players do not have much idea about the conditions of Karachi and the home team will surely have an advantage but if his players can apply right thing on right time then it will be a good contest between the two teams.
He added that ICC Test Championship has made Test cricket more competitive.
“We used to play home and away series previously but it wasn’t that much exciting but now competition is everywhere. You have to play a number of matches and you’ve to dominate in all games and all conditions to stay on top. I personally like the way ICC Championship has shaped up the Test championship,” he said.
“India is currently on top, Australia is following. We have to do well to stay on top in championship as well and we are looking forward to get maximum points,” Karunaratne added.