Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara is no less than Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar

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January 5, 2015

"Balanced yet intense, ruthless in his need to succeed, always contributing to his team's cause, he is among the finest cricketers Sri Lanka has produced," the late Peter Roebuck, one of the world's greatest cricket writers, once wrote about Kumar Sangakkara.

Kumar Sangakkara is no less than Sachin Tendulkar

January 5, 2015

"Balanced yet intense, ruthless in his need to succeed, always contributing to his team's cause, he is among the finest cricketers Sri Lanka has produced," the late Peter Roebuck, one of the world's greatest cricket writers, once wrote about Kumar Sangakkara.

Kumar Sangakkara is no less than Sachin Tendulkar

Roebuck was describing the art of Sangakkara. "Kumar Sangakkara counts among the most polished and prudent of batsmen. Nothing catches the eye about his work except its consistency and efficiency," he wrote.

Sangakkara provided a master class on Sunday with an elegant 203 to lift Sri Lanka off the ropes and put them in command of the second Test against New Zealand.

It was the 10th highest score of Sangakkara's illustrious Test career and the 11th time he has reached 200, putting him one behind Australian legend Don Bradman for the most double tons.

The prolific knock was enough to make Sangakkara reconsider retirement plans, saying the idea of overtaking Bradman was attractive.

"I would love to," he said, adding a final decision on his future would be made after the World Cup starting in New Zealand and Australia next month. "It's nice to get big ones especially in a game situation like this, to come back into the game from being 78-5."

"The idea was to punish the loose bowling. When they are constantly put under pressure to keep bowling those good balls and the moment when they make a mistake if that ball goes for a boundary that changes momentum," he said.

New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who had a close up view of Sangakkara's innings described it as "a demonstration of how to play by a world class player". "He showed how good he is."

Sangakkara, who early in his innings became the fifth and fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs, surpassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, batted for nearly seven hours and faced 306 deliveries.

A demonstration of class, a corroboration of exquisiteness, a sharp-minded academician, and a through team man. Sangakkara has all the qualities in him to trigger intense pangs of envy. sangakkara is arguably one of the greatest batsmen of the mordern era. Yet his name doesn't feature in the same breath as the likes of Tendukar, Ponting, Brian Lara and his compatriot Mahela Jayawardene.

Throughout his career, he has been overshadowed by his contemporaries. Even in his own country, Sangakkara is not accommodated a place amongst few of the other greats such as Arvinda de silva, Sanath Jayasurya and Arjuna Ranatunga. But nothing can be taken away from him as his numbers are good enough to put him in the league of greats.

Sanga has been the fastest to 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 Test runs. What puts him ahead of his Sri Lankan counterparts is his average of over 58, only after Bradman (99.94) and Herbert Sutcliffe (60.73) – also the highest for an Asian.

One of the other things which distinguishes Sanga from other Lankan greats is overseas performance. Sanga averages over 60 at home and has also managed to maintain an overseas average of over 50, ahead of any other Sri Lankan. In 130 Test matches, he has scored 12,198 runs, 319 being his highest. Apart from that he has taken 178 catches behind the wicket. If only the numbers are considered, he is in fact the greatest Test player Sri Lanka have ever produced.

At this point of time, Sanga is also the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen across all formats, way ahead of Ab de Villiers, Adam Gilchrist, MS Dhoni, Mark Boucher and Brendon McCullum.

As Roebuck said, "Kumar Sangakkara counts among the most polished and prudent of batsmen." Sanga is one of the few in modern era, who had seamlessly adjusted his game according to the needs across all three formats.

And as the sun is beginning to set on a great career, it will also mark the end of a generation of cricketers who were true gentlemen of the game as the likes of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and his good friend Jayaderwene had already called it a day, making the game that much more poorer.


Courtesy: Cricketnext

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