Colombo: Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin might have dismissed Kumar Sangakkara in his last four innings, but the legendary cricketer yesterday rated veteran India pacer Zaheer Khan as one of the most dangerous bowlers he has faced during his 15-year long illustrious career.
Kumar Sangakkara. Pic/AFP
Asked who were the bowlers who challenged him over the years, Sangakkara said: "Ashwin in this series, but Zaheer Khan and Graeme Swann otherwise. "When I've played against some of these bowlers, I've sometimes been unsuccessful. But you're always trying to refine your strategy and come out of that.
Wasim Akram is someone I've played only when I was young, thankfully. He's got me out once and his bowling style was excellent. Playing against cricketers like this is a big challenge." Sangakkara today bid adieu to international cricket with 12,400 runs in 134 Tests at an average of 57.4.
One of the greatest batsmen in Sri Lankan cricket, Sangakkara has long been compared with Australia's Sir Don Bradman, especially by his childhood coach recently. But the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman preferred to downplay it by saying his coach must be joking.
"I think he might have been joking. I watched Bradman bat on old grainy videos and he was exceptional. You take any of those great cricketers from any era and you put them here with the modern techniques, the modern training methods and he might have averaged much more.
But there will always be comparisons but I am pretty secure in being Kumar Sangakkara and having played the game and achieved what I have in the game," he said.