Wish I had Lara's back-lift: Sanga
Brisbane, Feb 21: Left-hand batsman Kumar Sangakkara reached the prestigious 10,000-run mark in ODIs at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sri Lanka’s previous match of the CB series, against Australia. With a contribution of 30 runs in Sri Lanka’s first win of the tri-series, the former captain has already amassed 10019 runs from 315 matches.
On the eve of their match against India here, Sangakkara spoke about the landmark and his batting in a brief chat with the media. Excerpts:
On the feeling after reaching 10,000 runs
It is a special feeling to get into the elite 10,000-club and also to be the fastest Sri Lankan to get there. It’s pretty special.
On whether he was aware he had reached the landmark when the moment came
I knew I had to get there, I knew I had to get 11 runs to get to 10,000. But when I bat, I make it a point not to look at the scoreboard too much, so I wasn’t aware I was on 10 at that time. I had realised I had scored two boundaries but I didn’t know exactly what my single tally was so that’s why I wasn’t really sure until the applause started that I had gotten to 10,000 [runs]. I just asked Mahela [Jayawardene] whether it was because we got the hundred and he said, ‘No, that’s the 10,000.’ That’s when I realised I had needed only one [run]. I have realised that when I concentrate too much on getting from 49 to 50, or from 99 to 100, I sometimes lose focus [which should be on] actually watching the ball and doing my job out there. So I have started a system where I don’t really count my runs until there is a stage in the match that I look up at the scoreboard.
On whether he remembered his first ODI run or has memories from his first match
I made my debut against Pakistan in Galle in Sri Lanka so I can’t remember my first run but I remember getting 35 [runs] and then getting run-out which wasn’t very pleasant; but I remember being excited to play. And I remember my first catch was Yousuf Youhana, caught behind [the stumps]. But my first run I can’t really remember.
On the left-hander that he liked watching most
Brian Lara. He is the best! He is probably one of my all-time favourites, and not just amongst left-handers. It used to be Viv Richards but I think Brian Lara maybe just a bit ahead of him now on my list of batsmen that I would love to watch. He was exceptional; his back-lift, his flair his aggressiveness. It was unbelievable.
On whether he had picked anything from Lara
I wish I could. I wish I had that back-lift. You know that little flourish and that huge amount of momentum he would build through it; but it’s hard to copy genius.