Dinesh Chandimal led Sri Lanka to a whitewash over Pakistan. (AP Photo)
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has got praise from former captain Kumar Sangakkara after Sri Lanka became the first time to win a series against Pakistan in UAE ever. At their adopted home, Pakistan have never lost a Test series since 2007.
Hailing Chandimal for his leadership, Sangakkara said that Chandimal was great in leading the team out of troubled situation alongwith others like Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera.
“It was a well deserved win. The team showed focus and put in lot of hard work. Great leadership from Chandimal and others like Rangana and Dilruwan,” Sangakkara was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “The way Chandimal absorbed the pressure in the first Test putting his ego aside was great to watch.
“People say that he was too slow, but come on, this is Test cricket. That is how you play Test cricket. He took Sri Lanka into a dominant position and it gave the team time to bowl them out.
“His captaincy was excellent. The way he manoeuvered the field was superb when Pakistan were chasing. The responsibility he took to bat long and deep was great to watch,” Sangakkara said.
Chandimal scored a counter-productive century in the first Test and a half-century in the second. He was second choice wicketkeeper for Sri Lanka when Sangakkara was the regular wicketkeeper for them. Sangakkara expressed that Chandimal was not too difficult to handle when he was his mentor.
“With Chandi, I didn’t have to do a lot. He was just tremendous. I used to talk to him on stuff like how to bat for long and when to accelerate and when to slow down. Passing on tips like how to go from your 40s to 100,” Sangakkara explained.
“Chandi to me is an excellent batsman. Unfortunately he was in and out of the side and his confidence was ruined. He started doubting himself. I have watched him bat in places like England, Australia and South Africa and he was tremendous. His record is excellent. He is a superb ODI player too. He has now started taking more responsibility and his knock in Abu Dhabi showed what he is capable of,” Sangakkara said.
“Chandi should not only just play Test cricket, but he should be part of the team in all three formats. He should be batting at number three or number four; would be ideal for him. He is the guy for us if we are looking long term. Unfortunately he has lost about three years of his cricket but we are yet to see the best out of him. Hopefully he will go onto make 10,000 runs in Test cricket.”