MUMBAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A sharp cricketing brain, supplemented by multitasking capabilities, has made Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara the complete package.
Sangakkara grew up in the scenic Sri Lankan city of Kandy and broke into international cricket at the age of 22, while he was still enrolled as a law student at the University of Colombo.
The elegant, left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman, arguably the best in the business currently, has never looked back.
Sangakkara has scored 34 hundreds in international cricket and, along with Mahela Jayawardene, is Sri Lanka’s batting mainstay in every form of the game.
In 2009, the selectors added the captain’s mantle to his wicketkeeping gloves and pads after his close friend Jayawardene suddenly quit the post.
Sangakkara settled into the role admirably and led Sri Lanka into the finals of the World Twenty20, weeks after the team’s bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore.
The 33-year-old, like most left-handed batsmen, is a spectator’s delight when he bats and is particularly strong square of the wicket.
Equally comfortable on both the front and back foot, Sangakkara plays the flowing drives and the pull and hook shots with the same expertise.
The son of an eminent lawyer, he chooses his words carefully while keeping wicket, constantly aiming comments at the opposing batsmen or at his team mates to boost their morale.
Sangakkara has been often criticised for throwing away his wicket in the 50-over format, as is evident from his ODI average of 36.86 compared to a test average of 57.25.
Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story, email email@example.com