Kumar Sangakkara backs Dinesh Chandimal to score 10,000 Test runs
The legendary batsman has also praised Chandimal's captaincy in the Pakistan series.
What's the story?
Former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara has backed current captain Dinesh Chandimal to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket. Hailing the 27-year old's performance with the bat during the triumphant recent series against Pakistan, the legendary batsman also exuded high praise on his captaincy skills.
"The way Chandimal absorbed the pressure in the first Test (at Abu Dhabi) putting his ego aside was great to watch. He took Sri Lanka into a dominant position and it gave the team time to bowl them out. His captaincy was excellent. The way he manoeuvred the field was superb when Pakistan were chasing. The responsibility he took to bat long and deep was great to watch", Sangakkara told Cricbuzz.
The batting icon elaborated, "Chandi (Chandimal) should not only just play Test cricket, but he should be part of the team in all three formats. He should be batting at number three or number four; would be ideal for him. He is the guy for us if we are looking long term. Unfortunately he has lost about three years of his cricket but we are yet to see the best out of him. Hopefully he will go onto make 10,000 runs in Test cricket."
In case you didn't know...
Chandimal made his Test debut against South Africa at Durban in the 2011/12 series. The classy batsman immediately showcased his enormous potential by scoring twin half-centuries on a difficult track against a bowling attack featuring the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. His vital knocks played a part in Sri Lanka's maiden Test match win in the Rainbow Nation.
The heart of the matter
Upon sparkling on Test debut as a wicket-keeper batsman, Chandimal subsequently gave up the gloves in order to concentrate solely on his ability with the bat. Although he has time and again reiterated his capacity to score game-changing knocks, the right-hander's inconsistency as well as propensity to take risks prevented him from entering the pantheon of the present-day batting stalwarts.
Nevertheless, Chandimal has scored 2930 runs from 41 Tests at an impressive average of 42.46 with 9 centuries and 13 half-centuries. His most recent ton came during the recently completed series against Pakistan in UAE. He held the innings together with an unbeaten 155 and paved the way for a memorable victory in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. His astute bowling changes and sharp field placements during the second Test in Dubai propelled Sri Lanka to a memorable 2-0 series triumph.
Chandimal is part of the Sri Lankan squad which will take on Pakistan for a 5-match ODI series in UAE starting on October 13 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Unlike in Tests, he will not lead his country in the shorter formats and instead play under the captaincy of Upul Tharanga. Sri Lanka's next Test assignment will be the 3-match series in India beginning at the iconic Eden Gardens on November 16.
Having earned the admiration as well as respect of a legendary cricketer like Sangakkara, Chandimal should revel in those high words of praise and look to build on his recent success.
Even though the 10,000-run mark in Tests is still a long distance away (7070 runs, to be precise), the talented stroke-maker can achieve the landmark some day as long as he maintains his focus and keeps working hard on his batting.