Colombo, Aug.18 (ANI): Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga is trying to make the most of his comeback into the national squad after being suspended for several months for using a banned substance.
Tharanga, who put in a strong World Cup performance this year, was blighted by a failed drugs test following the semi-final win over New Zealand, and spent three months on the sidelines before his ban ended on the eve of the first one-day international in Kandy.
The soft-spoken 26-year-old appears to have lost none of his form during his time on the sidelines, guiding Sri Lanka to victory in the third match in Hambantota on Tuesday with a plucky 111 off 139 deliveries.
Tharanga paid tribute to his captain Tillakaratne Dilshan and the Sri Lankan cricket board for supporting him during his ban - which he blamed on a herbal remedy to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury.
"I think the last few months have been very tough but I think the selectors and captain have faith in me. They called me straight after my ban began and gave me support. I'm really happy I'm back in the team and I'm looking forward now," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Tharanga, as saying.
Tuesday's ton was Tharanga's fourth ODI century in 2011 and his first against Australia, a point that brought him particular pleasure.
"As a player, I always wanted to score a hundred against the Australians. The difference between the other teams and the Australians is if you take their fast bowlers, they have speed and ability to swing the ball and, more than other teams, they pose a massive challenge. That's why scoring a hundred against the Australians is special," Tharanga added.
Sri Lanka have called in young batsman Dinesh Chandimal, all-rounder Thisara Perera, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna in their squad for the fourth ODI against Australia to be played at Colombo's R.Premadasa Stadium on Saturday. (ANI)
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