Sri Lanka in UAE, 2013 December 16, 2013

Aggression becomes Sangakkara

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Sixteen months ago Kumar Sangakkara refused to place himself alongside the triumvirate of batting's modern greats, when he won the Test Cricketer and Cricketer of the Year awards for his previous year's work. "Sachin, Ponting and Lara dominated attacks," he said, "and they were great to watch. I'm much more of a steady worker, and I graft for my runs." Sangakkara often makes it a point to be erudite, insightful and correct, but given what has transpired since then, this was kind of a stupid thing to say.

Sangakkara's 2013 has been all about dominating attacks and making for riveting - occasionally breathtaking - viewing, particularly in ODIs. He had missed Sri Lanka's first ODI series of the year through injury, but since then, he has hit 1033 runs in 18 innings. Among batsmen who have hit more than 350 runs in the year, Sangakkara's average of 73.78 is comfortably the highest. His strike rate has been almost as impressive, at 93.82.

Crucially, these figures have been not been amassed on surfaces that reduce bowlers to the levels of dignity that cosmetics companies accord their laboratory chimpanzees, and there have been some high-pressure innings among them. The ICC has consequently awarded Sangakkara the only big prize he missed out on last year - for ODI cricketer of the year.

Sangakkara has been the engine room of Sri Lanka's ODI innings for a decade, but although he had scored heavily in previous years, his statistics have perhaps flattered him. Mahela Jayawardene's one-day average is significantly worse, but his best innings are often versatile, free-flowing and beautifully paced; he has been the more valuable batsman by a distance. Sangakkara, meanwhile, had hit 77 half-centuries batting from no. 4 or higher, but reached triple figures only 17 times.

Like almost everything Sangakkara achieves, this year's limited-overs bounty has foremost been a triumph of the mind. Reevaluating his role in the team, he said, has unlocked a new freedom in his cricket, and has transformed his goals in limited-overs batting.

"I had a specific role in the side when I was at no. 3," Sangakkara said. "The role didn't change much over the years, it was to try and consolidate and rebuild, so the guys coming in at six and seven will then have a platform from where to finish games. Finishing games is probably something I should have done a lot more, but I think maybe there are instances where fatigue comes into play. I've kept wicket my entire career, and that's been an interesting part this year - I'm still keeping, but maybe I've accepted that my innings need to be a lot more telling, and that freed me up to take those extra risks that is allowing me to bat shorter, but score more runs.

"I've changed my approach to be more attacking. It's allowed me to explore other areas of the game that I should be improving, and that's brought me a lot more runs and a few more areas to score in than before."

Sangakkara has devised strokes that enable him to score unconventionally, and vitally, he has custom-fit the new shots to meld with his existing technique. He has made the lap-scoop, which he uniquely plays off the back foot, almost as consistent for him as his cover drive. The team has, in general, espoused innovation under coach Graham Ford, who conducts specialised net sessions in which batsmen are encouraged to experiment and develop new shots and a fresh, aggressive mindset.

"It's a bit of a change in mentality and technique. Finding new aspects to your game is a very necessary thing to do," he said. "What you viewed as risky before - you need to change that attitude and really embrace the change. Technically you have to adjust very slightly, to try and open up those areas to score in. Maybe you have to alter your stance and move around the crease a bit more and find different ways to impart touch or find another way to get power into the ball. There are various ways you can do it, but you can't suddenly open up all areas and score differently, you need to have a solid base and build an innings before you can exploit that new kind of shot-making. As a side we've embraced that philosophy under Graham, and it's been really good."

Sangakkara has only made aggression his hallmark in 2013, but there have been glimpses of his attacking ability throughout his career. The innings that lit his path into the national team, a 140-ball 156 against Zimbabwe A in 2000, was the first notable sighting of his attacking talent, but there were other knocks that affirmed him, he said.

"There have been innings all along that made me confident I can play in that way. One innings in 2002 in England, where we went out were chasing 300, which was a huge score to chase at the time. In India, 90 off 40 odd balls in Rajkot - that was another innings where I had to go out and not worry about consolidating or rebuilding, but just attack. Then, this year, there was a good innings in the Champions Trophy, and against South Africa and a few against New Zealand at home. It's just about getting [in] that right frame of mind. At the end of the day it's about the way you view your role, and the way you view yourself in the team environment, and what you're prepared to change."

In the last two years, Sangakkara has also struck up rich partnerships with Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose own ODI batting has been in resurgence. Since the start of 2012, Sangakkara and Dilshan have made 1640 runs together - 369 more than any other batting pair - and average 58.57.

"Batting with Dilshan is good because you are never under any pressure to score quickly with him - boundaries flow usually from his end. There are days when he doesn't score like that, but then the bowlers are always under pressure, because they are trying to avoid areas where he scores. That sometimes makes them forget about me and they come a little easier at me, allowing me to score in my areas. The overall pressure that Dilshan exerts on the bowlers allows the batsmen around him to score more freely. Also, Dilshan is excellent at running between wickets."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kasifdotinfo on | December 16, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    Great story and interview. I especially appreciate how Andrew Fidel Fernando has highlighted the fact that Sangakkara's apparent lack of ability to dominate attacks was the only thing anyone - himself included - could hold against him as a batsman, and now even that gap in his repertoire has been most emphatically closed.

    It has to be said that ODI rule changes and a poorer standard of bowling have made things easier for Sangakkara, as they have for other batsmen, but Sangakkara hasn't had many comfortable match situations or flat tracks to enjoy as of late. What he's doing in T20s is especially impressive, given that he was just recently benched by his IPL team - a disgraceful injustice that hopefully won't be repeated.

    I'd really like to see Sangakkara make the most of his newly complete batting game - one of the wonders of cricket - and play for as long as he possibly can, ignoring calls for retirement made by ignorant fools fixated on the meaningless number that is his age.

  • POSTED BY SeamingWicket on | December 18, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Sangakkara in test matches is a legend. As a specialist batsman his average is over 70. His overall average in tests (including when he was wicket keeping) is over 50. He is recognized as one of the greatest test match players. And keep in mind that Sri Lanka dont get as many chances to play test cricket like the other top teams. He is recognized by the experts as an all time great

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    today match will show who is sanga

  • POSTED BY kasifdotinfo on | December 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @spas: This sort of thinking doesn't seem to make any sense at all. How can a great player who is consistently performing for team, country, and fans of the sport worldwide be accused of being greedy by not retiring? Rather, one might call such a player greedy should he retire, as he would be depriving team, country, and fans, in pursuit of a bit of golf, time at home with the kids, a dabble in this or that, etc.

    The argument that Sangakkara is depriving youngsters of opportunity is a terrible one; there are X other spots in the playing XI, and youngsters who play with Sangakkara frequently comment on how valuable his mentorship is.

    Sangakkara might, once he retires, become a good administrator, politician, or charity director, but it is clear that he was born to play cricket, and to play it better than practically anyone else, to the delight of a great many. His secondary pursuits can wait until he can play cricket at a high level no longer.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | December 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    A batsman averages less than 35 in SA, Aus, Eng called as Legend in SL. lol. Then guess what how many legendes will be there in other teams!

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 18, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I think its great to see an already great player striving to keep improving and everything I gather about Sanga, he is a true professional. Its very hard at this stage of his career to add a new dimension to what is already a fantastic technique. Aggression was something that was lacking from his game partocularly in t20 and I think it was the need to stay competitive in t20 which probably got Sanga going down this path. I just hope it doesnt get him playing too many shots in test cricket as a result and getting out. I think this is a potential risk and what caused Gambier his test spot and eventually his Indian spot.

  • POSTED BY spas on | December 18, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @ NextSana, I don't think Sanga would play till he is 40-41. He won't be that greedy. He would call it a day may be within a couple of years giving opportunity to youngsters. World cricket would then receive some valuable contribution from Sanga the perfect cricketer as a thinker, an administrator may be. And the down to earth gentlemen would be a gem not only for Sri Lanka, but for the whole world.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Sangakkara is a legend not only in cricket but in general knowledge also when he won Rs.one million (highest prize ever) ln the TV quiz show ''who wants to be a miillionaire'' with Mahela Jayawardane recently to be used for charity work

  • POSTED BY VKohlitheGreat on | December 18, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Definition of LEGEND in Sri Lanka. Any batsman who has an average of 30 is a Legend of the game. LOL. Going by that definition every team in the world even ZIm and BAN has at least 5-6 LEGENDS in their team and top teams are carrying 8 LEGENDS every time they take the field. LOL.

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Class batsman and one of the modern all time greats

  • POSTED BY kasifdotinfo on | December 16, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    Great story and interview. I especially appreciate how Andrew Fidel Fernando has highlighted the fact that Sangakkara's apparent lack of ability to dominate attacks was the only thing anyone - himself included - could hold against him as a batsman, and now even that gap in his repertoire has been most emphatically closed.

    It has to be said that ODI rule changes and a poorer standard of bowling have made things easier for Sangakkara, as they have for other batsmen, but Sangakkara hasn't had many comfortable match situations or flat tracks to enjoy as of late. What he's doing in T20s is especially impressive, given that he was just recently benched by his IPL team - a disgraceful injustice that hopefully won't be repeated.

    I'd really like to see Sangakkara make the most of his newly complete batting game - one of the wonders of cricket - and play for as long as he possibly can, ignoring calls for retirement made by ignorant fools fixated on the meaningless number that is his age.

  • POSTED BY SeamingWicket on | December 18, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Sangakkara in test matches is a legend. As a specialist batsman his average is over 70. His overall average in tests (including when he was wicket keeping) is over 50. He is recognized as one of the greatest test match players. And keep in mind that Sri Lanka dont get as many chances to play test cricket like the other top teams. He is recognized by the experts as an all time great

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    today match will show who is sanga

  • POSTED BY kasifdotinfo on | December 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @spas: This sort of thinking doesn't seem to make any sense at all. How can a great player who is consistently performing for team, country, and fans of the sport worldwide be accused of being greedy by not retiring? Rather, one might call such a player greedy should he retire, as he would be depriving team, country, and fans, in pursuit of a bit of golf, time at home with the kids, a dabble in this or that, etc.

    The argument that Sangakkara is depriving youngsters of opportunity is a terrible one; there are X other spots in the playing XI, and youngsters who play with Sangakkara frequently comment on how valuable his mentorship is.

    Sangakkara might, once he retires, become a good administrator, politician, or charity director, but it is clear that he was born to play cricket, and to play it better than practically anyone else, to the delight of a great many. His secondary pursuits can wait until he can play cricket at a high level no longer.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | December 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    A batsman averages less than 35 in SA, Aus, Eng called as Legend in SL. lol. Then guess what how many legendes will be there in other teams!

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 18, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I think its great to see an already great player striving to keep improving and everything I gather about Sanga, he is a true professional. Its very hard at this stage of his career to add a new dimension to what is already a fantastic technique. Aggression was something that was lacking from his game partocularly in t20 and I think it was the need to stay competitive in t20 which probably got Sanga going down this path. I just hope it doesnt get him playing too many shots in test cricket as a result and getting out. I think this is a potential risk and what caused Gambier his test spot and eventually his Indian spot.

  • POSTED BY spas on | December 18, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @ NextSana, I don't think Sanga would play till he is 40-41. He won't be that greedy. He would call it a day may be within a couple of years giving opportunity to youngsters. World cricket would then receive some valuable contribution from Sanga the perfect cricketer as a thinker, an administrator may be. And the down to earth gentlemen would be a gem not only for Sri Lanka, but for the whole world.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Sangakkara is a legend not only in cricket but in general knowledge also when he won Rs.one million (highest prize ever) ln the TV quiz show ''who wants to be a miillionaire'' with Mahela Jayawardane recently to be used for charity work

  • POSTED BY VKohlitheGreat on | December 18, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Definition of LEGEND in Sri Lanka. Any batsman who has an average of 30 is a Legend of the game. LOL. Going by that definition every team in the world even ZIm and BAN has at least 5-6 LEGENDS in their team and top teams are carrying 8 LEGENDS every time they take the field. LOL.

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Class batsman and one of the modern all time greats

  • POSTED BY Lion83 on | December 17, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Sanga is a class act, it is unfortunate that Sri lanka doesnt play much test matches. If they do Sanga would have been best in the tests also

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    But still Jayasuriya is the king. He showed SL fans that world records can be broken. Sanga dont have any world records. Jayasuriya - Fastest 50, fastest 100, Fastest 150, most runs in an over, most sixes in ODI, most sixes in an ODI inning. and there were more which I cannot remember.

    Some of his records were taken by Afridi.

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Stop comparing great legends, appreciate them for what they have done to the game.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | December 17, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    What a legend he is. As a champion batsman, a superb wicket keeper , a fine cricketer, a philanthropist and top all that, a gentleman he stands out above all others. The way he carries himself on and off the field is a great example to every cricketer/sportsman in the world. He is the prototype of a perfect cricketer. He rightfully deserves to be called "The King" coz he is The King.

    "Waltz Sangakkara, Waltz Sangakkara - Don't stop ya-Waltz Sangakkara, today...."

  • POSTED BY NextSana on | December 17, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Sanga is the one to reach Sachin's record first. He is 36 years old (36 years and 51 days) He has 4 or more years left remember Sachin retired on 41 years of age. He got 12000 ODI runs and 10500 test runs right now. He is getting better and better we can average 1200 ODI and 1000 test runs per year.

    So in 2018 Sanga's ODI runs - 1200x5 = 6000; 12000 + 6000 = 18000 Sanga's Test runs - 1000x5 = 5000; 10500 + 5000 = 15500

    He can easily go pass Sachin's overall run record by playing T20 for couple of more years. So it is ironic some foreign fans say he needs to retire and give chances to youngsters. If he plays 5 more years he can definitely go pass all these records.

    SANGA, PLEASE!!! PLAY 5 MORE YEARS FOR THE COUNTRY.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 17, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Sanga is wonderful to watch. he's so down to earth character good to learn from this great man.

  • POSTED BY Yousafahmed11 on | December 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @San-Gak-Kar. Better to keep quiet on his record against India at India! His average is 36.50 even against that weak side! 6 matches 10 inngs with one century of 134.

  • POSTED BY Prema1948 on | December 17, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Since he took very long time to show his aggression we would be very pleased if we could have some youngsters that can at least come, close to Tendulkar class, & can show their aggression from their teen years. Unfortunately youngsters of last 15-20years, that have been proving their class, while being very consistent from their schooldays and could play chance-less innings with proper cricket strokes on any surface, didn't have the same luxury that these few seniors have had. Even if the seniors had failed 10-20times at a stretch, they have never had the fear of losing their places or positions, because, the J&Ps and the local media of last 20, have had a great difficulty in identify or differentiate classy batters from average, when they are still in their teens. They have no regard for players with controlled neat stroke play; instead they have always given their 1st preference to hard hitting batters of limited (risky, reckless, lofted) strokes.(Stats refer Cricinfo)

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | December 17, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Well done Sanga, you are a real unsung hero for us. You handle yourself in the correct manner on and off the field and I always enjoy watching you bat. Recently you have reinvented yourself in the shorter forms so as the article says, great to see you moving your game on even at this stage of your career. @ the usual haters- again you show your ignorance in terms of cricket, don't you ever tire of looking silly??

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Sangakkara is the best cricketer in modern era. Though sometimes his aggression is weak ultimately he increases it.This has led someone to think he is not a perfect odi batsmen but that has changed due to his aggression in recent one day innings in this year.I think iif he continues this form he can become a complete & strong batsman who can produce more match winning knocks as he has the talent and the technique to do so Sanga ,congrats you for your wonderful achievement and wish you will shine as this in future..

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Sanga given sachin's years of play is about 120% better than sachin, see stats!

  • POSTED BY Yuosufahmed on | December 17, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @ JoshFromJamRock: Most of what you have said is true. But, your argument that he has played mostly against weak bowling attacks like Ind and Ban, not against strong attacks like Eng, Aus, SA is not true. Test: 38 matches ( Ind, Ban, NZ) 46 (Aus, SA, Eng) ODI: 138 matches ( Ind, Ban, NZ) , 116 matches (Aus, SA, Eng) T 20: 16 matches ( Ind, Ban, NZ) , 13 matches (Aus, SA, Eng). Not much difference even Ind is categorized as a weak attack based on your method, isn't it?

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Sanga... your are the best not only in batting but the character and personality. You are a living knowledge-base in the field, which is never expire. You are a legend in modern cricket help to fill the gap between conventional Cricket and Competitive Cricket.....with greater adaptability to the context.

    You have made all of us proud !!!! You deserved all of these recognition !!! Keep on performing because we still want to see big test centuries from you !!!!

    You

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    @ CricIndia208- there is an option in cricinfo to filter statistics as you want.So please go and check who is the best in overseas and in their home pitches. whether there is a significant difference in their home VS overseas records. Certainly you ll see Sangakkara among the very best. Lara is the only player who has shown that consistency. Well, India is known to produce most batting friendly wickets (flattest). No wonder SR Tendulkar has such record. India used to play 4 match test series and even getting lot of match practices before major events especially in Australia and in UK. Which was a common thing happened in last 2 decades. May be they were able to win 1 or 2 matches here and there but overall record is considered to be worst compared to other two asian countries. Their wins came in flat tracks like Sydney etc. Overall India is nothing. Just see last SA tour and ENG or Last AUS tour. Who are they?? nothing to get out. So better to compare and contrast your own stuff.

  • POSTED BY Vajira_D_Silva on | December 17, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Nice article about great Sanga. @CricIndia208 hey mate, please use the facilities (like statsguru) provided by cricinfo before you comment. Especially when you are less aware of what you are talking about. Out of sanga's 11948 ODI runs, he has scored 7847 outside Sri Lanka with an average of 40.65. He has scored 13 centuries ( out of his total 16) outside Sri Lanka. If you consider his record in Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies and India, he has scored 4884 runs with an average of 40.03 and 7 centuries. Also if you consider his record only in Australia, England and India that is 3462 runs at an average of 44.38 with 6 centuries. So basically what you said is not true.

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    This is a Legend who already owned every ICC Major Awards, From Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the year and now ODI player of the year. great servant of Sri Lankan Cricket and unarguably One of the Greatest to ever to play the Game. Sanga is becoming more and more lethal as he is playing more and more, one the rarest raw model for youngsters to follow with great personality and a great gentleman.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | December 17, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Congrats!!! for becoming ICC ODI player of the year !! Sanga is one of the best in SL cricket, wish he will be around till 2015 WC !!!!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | December 17, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    @cricindia208, maybe you ought to look up sangakkara's away records before talking without knowing what you are saying. He averages 45+ outside the subcontinent and averages well in all countries except England and South Africa (also need to understand he's probably played less than 7-8 matches in each country).

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara would have got his deserved credit had he been playing for any other team. With Sri Lanka hardly playing series overseas, a lot of times, their players are ridiculed for having a lop sided record. They are often criticized for being good only in their home, for no fault of theirs. Give them a chance to play consistently overseas and then comment. They are sure to come out fighting.

  • POSTED BY SriLankanYoungBlood on | December 17, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    my idea is his strike rate is far better when he plays 4 or 5. but when playing @ 3 he consume lot of deliverers to get first 25-30 runs.likely 50-60 balls. but when he is plays @4,5 such thing never happened. my suggestion is Sanga play 4,5.he can start it from coming ODI against PAK. then Chani or Thiri can bat 3 or 4.then they also can come to their normal form. changing batting style is very good specialty to 2014 T20 WC. best of luck.

  • POSTED BY Surajdon9 on | December 17, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    True Legend.My Favorite all time cricketer...More than anything real gentleman of the game.Hats off to u Great legend.Its my Privilege to watch your batting...Keep going .All the best Hero of Nation Kumar Sangakkara.True Lions ....

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Super Sanga... Great story!

  • POSTED BY HASSAANSHAZULI on | December 17, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    A role model for youngsters. Clever batsman with a lot of technique. He has 8 double hundreds in test matches as well. Just 4 more needed to tally with Sir Donald Bradman. Old at age. Young at heart. Cmmon Sanga.

  • POSTED BY Atifkhan3489 on | December 17, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    He is among the greats of modern day cricket.Undoubtedly the best batsman with kallis, after retirement of sachin.

  • POSTED BY naleem8734 on | December 17, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Kumar sangakkara is role model for youngesters....................

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    In my opinion .. the evolution of "Sanga v2.0" is the best thing that has happened in terms of Sri Lanka's overall shorter format Batting. adds so much stability to that lineup !

  • POSTED BY CricIndia208 on | December 17, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Sanga has scored all his runs in Sri Lanka. For a player so talented his record in England, South Africa, India, West Indies etc. is very poor. He needs to start scoring runs overseas to be considered as a great.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 17, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    A true legand , never ready to lose hope ,

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | December 17, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    His catch to dismiss Afridi in the 2nd T20 sums up the brilliance of the player...Perhaps the best batsman and wicket keeper Sri Lanka has ever produced.Although he cannot tally Tendulkar's runs, he would probably end up as the best batsman that Asia has ever produced.

  • POSTED BY playfaircricket on | December 17, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Great Modern era Player Simply

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    It's amazing that to know player of this caliber still capable of changing their bating style and willing to learn new Technics. I guess that's secret of legend of the game and best players.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Sangakkara can definitely play into his forties. What a player.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | December 16, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Last decade we have Sachin, Ponting, Lara, Kallis and Dravid at their best.

    This decade will be when Sangakkara, Alma, DeVilliers, Cook and to a lesser extent Kohli and Pujara stamp their claim of being the best New Era legends of cricket. But if i had to choose, DeVilliers is probably the best cricket will see for a long time...I mean come on, he has about 5 to 6 years left in him and he's ranked top 3 for all the format he plays and averages approximately 50 for both Tests and ODIs while he totally dominates T20 cricket internationally and domestically.

    Only regret I have about Sanga is that he hasn't gotten a chance to play the top bowling teams (Aus, Eng and SA) very often hence people try to say he's a flat track bully against the weak attacks of India and Bangladesh. He's the best left hander I have seen after Lara for sure (yes better than Shiv Chanderpaul, Cook, Smith, Hayden and Gilchrist).

  • POSTED BY Tweety20 on | December 16, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    GREAT.........simply GREAT....! A statesman, A legend, A Gentleman, A tactician and much more. I'm so proud that he is a product of Lanka and he brings pride to all Sri Lankans. we love you Sanga.....keep going! JAYA SRI.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Elegance in his batting. I believe he bats with all of his mind set on where to hit the ball. He is modern-day cricket's true perfectionist. Sangakarra is one of my favorite cricketers in the world;makes batting looks easy.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    He should be retiring inn couple of years but still his willingness to learn new aspects on his batting should be an example for all youngsters in all sports n other walks of life..he is a legend..

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    brilliant player..definitely one for ages..respect (from IND)

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    The last line should be sarcasm. The only way to separate this pair in the past two years was a run out :D

  • POSTED BY Master_Mihil on | December 16, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    I have seen him playing very risky but enterprising shots in the recent past i was starting to wonder what got to him.

  • POSTED BY Master_Mihil on | December 16, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    I have seen him playing very risky but enterprising shots in the recent past i was starting to wonder what got to him.

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    The last line should be sarcasm. The only way to separate this pair in the past two years was a run out :D

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    brilliant player..definitely one for ages..respect (from IND)

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    He should be retiring inn couple of years but still his willingness to learn new aspects on his batting should be an example for all youngsters in all sports n other walks of life..he is a legend..

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Elegance in his batting. I believe he bats with all of his mind set on where to hit the ball. He is modern-day cricket's true perfectionist. Sangakarra is one of my favorite cricketers in the world;makes batting looks easy.

  • POSTED BY Tweety20 on | December 16, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    GREAT.........simply GREAT....! A statesman, A legend, A Gentleman, A tactician and much more. I'm so proud that he is a product of Lanka and he brings pride to all Sri Lankans. we love you Sanga.....keep going! JAYA SRI.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | December 16, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Last decade we have Sachin, Ponting, Lara, Kallis and Dravid at their best.

    This decade will be when Sangakkara, Alma, DeVilliers, Cook and to a lesser extent Kohli and Pujara stamp their claim of being the best New Era legends of cricket. But if i had to choose, DeVilliers is probably the best cricket will see for a long time...I mean come on, he has about 5 to 6 years left in him and he's ranked top 3 for all the format he plays and averages approximately 50 for both Tests and ODIs while he totally dominates T20 cricket internationally and domestically.

    Only regret I have about Sanga is that he hasn't gotten a chance to play the top bowling teams (Aus, Eng and SA) very often hence people try to say he's a flat track bully against the weak attacks of India and Bangladesh. He's the best left hander I have seen after Lara for sure (yes better than Shiv Chanderpaul, Cook, Smith, Hayden and Gilchrist).

  • POSTED BY on | December 16, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Sangakkara can definitely play into his forties. What a player.

  • POSTED BY on | December 17, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    It's amazing that to know player of this caliber still capable of changing their bating style and willing to learn new Technics. I guess that's secret of legend of the game and best players.

  • POSTED BY playfaircricket on | December 17, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Great Modern era Player Simply