Kumar Sangakkara admits Kusal Mendis is his successor
Youngster Kusal Mendis was the saviour for Sri Lanka in their second innings in the ongoing Test in Pallekele. He scored a brilliant unbeaten 169 before play was called off for the third day. Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara feels that Kusal Mendis has filled up the vast space which he vacated after his retirement. Kumar was arguably one of the greatest players Sr -Lanka ever produced; his statistics speaks of his quality and consistency.
After being dismissed for 117 in the first innings, Sri Lanka came back well with the ball and restricted the visitors to 203 runs. The Lankan’s were shaky in the second innings too, losing 4 wickets for 84 runs. But then Kusal, along with Dinesh Chandimal, steadied the ship. Chandimal was dismissed on 42, while Kusal remained unbeaten hitting 20 boundaries and a maximum.
Recently on a social networking site, a cricket enthusiast asked him about his thoughts on Kusal Mendis and whether he has the capability to be the perfect replacement. In reply, the southpaw admitted that Kusal Mendis has already replaced him.
It may be too early to name him as Sangakkara’s replacement but if there is someone who can come close to reach Kumar’s stature, Kusal Mendis will be the first name on everyone’s mind, who missed out on a double-ton, when he was dismissed for 176 runs. Sri Lanka have a handy lead of 228 runs in the second innings and the side would be looking to add at least another 100 runs to set up a competitive target for the Aussies. Facing Rangana Herath in the fourth innings, the men from down under will have a task in hand.
Australia has an excellent record against Sri-Lanka in Tests, they have lost just one match to the Asian giants. Apart from the 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20 Internationals will be played between the two nations.
Prior to the start of the series, legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was criticised by the Sri-Lankan Cricket board for his role a consultant to the Australian team for the series. While some players like Kumar Sangakkara defended him, It will be interesting to see whether Muralitharan’s stint with the Australians helps them in the upcoming fixtures.