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Will Sangakkara be the world's greatest leftie?

Kumar Sangakkara was named as the best ODI player of all-time in a recent Cricket Australia poll. (AFP Photo/William West)
Expert
5th February, 2014
38
1752 Reads

There’s mounting ammunition to suggest Kumar Sangakkara will outstrip all the recognised left-handed batsmen in Test cricket history.

Overnight the 36-year-young Sri Lankan cracked his first triple ton to become the fastest to 11,000 Test runs in 208 digs, pipping Brian Lara 213, Ricky Ponting 222, Sachin Tendulkar 223, Rahul Dravid 234, Jacques Kallis 234, Mahela Jayawardene 237, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 256, and Allan Border 259.

What made Sangakkara’s 319 so special was the next-best Sri Lanka batsman overnight was Dinesh Chandimal, with just 72 in a total of 587 against Bangladesh at Chittagong.

Add his eight double centuries ranging from 287 to 200 not out, and Sangakkara has now stamped himself with the highest average among those who have passed the 10,000 Test runs mark.

Sangkkara 57.83, Kallis 55.85, Tendulkar 53,78, Lara 52,88, Chanderpaul 51,93, Ponting 51.85, Gavaskar 51.12, Steve Waugh 51.06, Jayawardena 50.48, and Border 50.56.

Yet Tendulkar and Ponting are mentioned in the same breath after the man with no peer – Sir Donald Bradman – while Kumar Sangakkara is only mentioned in the bridesmaid status.

But he’s ready to say ‘I do’ as he sets sail after South African leftie Graeme Pollock, who has an average of 60.97 from only 23 Tests.

But to be fair, what Sangakkara has achieved over nearly 10 times as many Tests as Pollock makes the Sri Lankan the more prolific batsman.

Right now Sangkarra has just shaded Sir Garfield Sobers’ average of 57.78, and there’s plenty of arguments to suggest the West Indian maestro is the best leftie of all time.

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But I’m going to stick with Kumar Sangakkarra – and we haven’t seen the very best of him yet.