Kumar Sangakkara’s numbers as a Test match player seem to be getting better and better by the day. Sangakkara, who goes about his business without attracting too much attention, is now 5th on the list of batsmen with most Test runs having surpassed West Indian great Brian Lara during the 2nd Test against Pakistan.
Sangakkara made his Test debut against South Africa at the age of 22 as a wicketkeeper-batsman, but it soon became apparent that he had enough quality to get into the side as a batsman alone. Yet Sri Lanka continued using the southpaw as their gloveman, as it gave them the chance to play an extra batsman or bowler depending on the conditions. The workload, though, of having to contribute runs at the top of the order and wicket-keeping for long hours in the field eventually took a toll on him, and he gave up the gloves for good in 2008.
Giving up wicket-keeping duties has benefitted him enormously: he averages a staggering 70.20 from the 80 Tests that he hasn’t had to stand behind the stumps in, as opposed to an average of 40.48 when wicket-keeping.
His consistency over the last 2-3 years, in particular, has been Bradmanesque, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he overtakes a couple of others in the run charts before retiring. The biggest question for him, though, is whether he has the motivation to carry on playing for another 2-3 years especially with Mahela Jayawardene, his best mate, hanging up his boots.
Here are the top 10 run-getters in Test cricket:
|Jacques Kallis||South Africa||166||13289||55.37|
|Kumar Sangakkara||Sri Lanka||128*||11983||58.94|
|Brian Lara||West Indies||131||11953||52.88|
|Mahela Jayawardene||Sri Lanka||149*||11809||49.95|
|Shivnarine Chanderpaul||West Indies||156||11414||51.88|
Note: Stats updated till August 16, 2014