Sri Lanka Pacer Kasun Rajitha says mental toughness is key in T20s
PUNE: The last time Kasun Rajitha played at Gahunje Stadium, in 2016 he entered as a rookie and came back as player of the match.
The pacer took the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in his first win and Shikhar Dhawan in his third five-wicket victory for Sri Lanka against India in their first T20 at the venue.
Rajitha returned to Pune for another T20, and over the past eight years, despite a dream start, he has come to realize that T20 cricket is never an easy format for bowlers.
“You have to be very strong mentally when you play T20s,” he said on Thursday.
The achievement for Kasun, 29, came in 2019 when he became the most expensive bowler in the format’s history. Kasun was hit for 75 runs in four overs against Australia in the first T20I on their Down Under tour.
“It’s never easy for a bowler to deal with a situation like this. Until then, I was unprepared for something like this. It can break a bowler’s confidence and that also affected. But when I watch it now, I feel like it was a lesson for me. It was a harsh way of dealing with reality, but I think it worked in a positive way for me,” he said.
“I went through a systematic process of playing cricket. I played age cricket, I was there at the national academy and I played national cricket. So I knew that was part of the game. I survived because I also received support from my family as teammates, coaches and board,” said Kasun, who took 15 wickets from 15 T20I.
He has also contested 13 Tests and has 39 wickets to his name. “Test matches are about physical stamina and skill. The T20 format is fun and should be played aggressively. A bowler should stay very careful and mentally strong in this format,” said Kasun, who always gets trolled on social networks.

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