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Sri Lanka captain
World Test Championship

Karunaratne's incredible 2021 so far: Test cricket's Mr Dependable

Sri Lanka

Hit For Six!
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Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunatne is well and truly a man leading from the front in 2021.

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Karunaratne notched his fourth Test century of the year on day one of the first match against West Indies, climbing to third for the most runs and second for most centuries in the format in 2021.

Karunaratne was unbeaten on 132 at stumps on day one, having put his side in a position of strength at 267/3.

Here, we look at the incredible 2021 Karunaratne has enjoyed.

CHARGING UP THE RUN-SCORING CHARTS

With 756 runs to his name in Tests in 2021, Karunaratne is the third-highest run-scorer in the format this year.

He trails only England’s Joe Root (1455) and India’s Rohit Sharma (906).

However, it is worth noting Karunaratne is currently playing his sixth Test of 2021 and 10th innings. Root has played twice as many matches and 13 more innings, while Sharma has played 11 Tests and 21 innings.

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THE YEAR’S MOST RELIABLE BATTER

While Karunaratne trails Root and Sharma for runs, he leaves both in the dust for average as things stand. The Sri Lankan star is averaging 84 this year, which is comfortably the best of the top 25 Test run-scorers.

Among the nine players to have made more than 500 Test runs this year, Root has the next best average of 66.13.

Alongside all men’s Test batters this year, Karunaratne’s average is the fifth-best.

CHASING ROOT FOR CENTURIES

Karunaratne recorded Test century No.4 for the year on Sunday against West Indies.

That’s four centuries made across just six matches.

Only Root with six has scored more hundreds this year and, as previously noted, the England skipper has played twice as many matches and 13 more innings than his Sri Lankan counterpart.

Pakistan’s Fawad Alam is the only other batter to have made at least three hundreds in Test cricket this year.

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ON A HOT RUN

Given his numbers this year, it's no surprise that Karunaratne has been on a hot streak in Test cricket.

Having started 2021 with a Test century against South Africa at Johannesburg, Karunaratne notched scores of 12, 3 and 1 across his first three innings against West Indies in March, finding form in his final outing of the series with a patient 75.

He has not looked back since.

In the first Test against Bangladesh, he made a career-best 244 and backed that up in the second Test with contributions of 118 and 66.

Across his past five innings he has averaged 158.75 – a number that could go in either direction by the conclusion of his current knock of 132*.

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