Shockingly, the 30-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket at the beginning of the year, citing family obligations. However, just days later, he reversed his decision to quit, claiming he wanted to play for the country again.
At the virtual press conference after PBKS lost to PBKS Calcutta knight knight (KKR) The left-handed batsman was asked about the U-turn at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. Rajapaksa explained:
“I had to withdraw my retirement letter because the SLC asked me to do so so I could serve the country more. I’m still the same. I have a problem with my skinfolds and that’s why I can’t represent the country or reach It (SLC) standard.”
Sri Lanka did not select a scorer for the T20I series against India after failing the skinfold test as part of the SLC’s selection process on fitness levels.
When asked how he is preparing for the IPL despite not playing much international cricket in recent months, Rajapaksa replied:
“I just did more work on my game. Before I came to the IPL, I hadn’t played cricket for almost four months because I missed the Australia tour and the India series. I just wanted to come and play And satisfy myself because that’s all I know. I love playing cricket and I just want to keep doing the good things I’ve been doing in the past.”
The Sri Lankan batsman has done a great job in IPL 2022. He went 43 of 22 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and 9 of 31 against Kolkata Knights (KKR) on Friday.
‘Want to bat deep but lost the wicket in midfield’ – Rajapaksa’s batting plan against KKR
PBKS had a strange batting performance against KKR. They ran to 62 at the end of the power game but lost three wickets. Despite their explosive start, they ended up with a mediocre 137 points.
When asked what exactly Punjab’s plans for bats are, Rajapaksa explained:
“Our plan is to take the crease as much as possible and hit the board high. We know the Cavaliers have a strong side, especially in hitting. We know the strength of Russ (Russell) and (Sam) Billings Even (Shreyas) Iyer’s experience. So, we wanted to hit the ball deep, but unfortunately we lost a couple of wickets in midfield. That’s where we need to improve in the next game. I’m sure the boys will bounce back .”
PBKS defended a total of 137 men, reducing KKR to 4 men of 51. However, Andre Russell remained unbeaten for 70 out of 31, giving Kolkata a six-wicket revival victory.