Dilshan is one hell of a competitor: Sri Lanka coach

Updated: Mar 31, 2011, 19:50 PM IST

Mumbai: Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss today described all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan as "one hell of a competitor" ahead of his team`s cricket World Cup final against India at the Wankhede Stadium here on April 2.

"He is one hell of a competitor. He loves the challenge whatever the situation is. He is a true all- rounder. He has opened the bowling and opened the batting. He has kept wickets in Test matches," the Australian-born coach said about the 34-year-old Lankan.

As opener, Dilshan has aggregated over 2,500 runs at an average of 53-plus in 52 ODIs, with nine centuries, including a career best 160.

Overall the batsman, who has patented the `Dilscoop`, averages a decent 36-plus in 202 ODIs after having scored over 5,400 runs.

"He is a competitor. That`s what drives him. I think that`s what turns him to perform in front of big crowd, on big occasions. He has certainly done the job for us in this tournament," said Bayliss.

The right-handed batsman, who opens with the left-handed Upul Tharanga, is the leading run-getter in the tournament with 467 runs - three ahead of Indian great Sachin Tendulkar.

Bayliss, who like Gary Kirsten is to leave his job after the tournament, said he was happy to have been involved with a talented bunch.

"Personally the experience of being involved with this national team is amazing. This guy sitting next to me (former skipper and current vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene) and some of the world`s best players like captain (Kumar) Sangakkara, (Sanath) Jayasuriya, (Muttiah) Muralitharan and (Chaminda)Vaas in the past have been fantastic."

"I only hope in a small way I have done well. We have played very good cricket in the last couple of years. We have moulded into a team which has got a lot of experience and a good number of young players, who can become very, very good players in the future."

"In their evolution, I think I played some sort of role," he added.