When a batsman reaches his mid-30s, it is often an indication that his international career is coming to a close. But, one wonders whether the same can be said of Kumar Sangakkara. The elegant left-hander, who is now 35, came up with a magnificent knock of 169 on Saturday against the South Africans at Colombo to set up a brilliant win for Sri Lanka in the opening ODI. Sangakkara has been in superb form in recent times, and has played quite a few match-winning knocks. Here’s a closer look at his performance in recent years.
January 2013 to present: This year has been extraordinary for Sangakkara in one-dayers. After 13 matches, he has 680 runs to his credit at a superlative average of 75 and the highest of 169 against the Proteas, which was being discussed earlier. Sangakkara has so far blasted two centuries –the other being the unbeaten 134 against the Englishmen at The Oval in June. Apart from the tons, he has also played a few other substantial knocks –an unbeaten 90 against West Indies, 71 against India, 69 against New Zealand and 63 against Bangladesh.
January 2012 to December 2012: Sangakkara had ahealthy run in 2012 as well. He featured in 31 ODIs during the year, and garnered 1184 runs averaging 44 with as many as three tons. The left-hander’s three hundreds were as follows –102 against South Africa at Johannesburg in January, 105 against India at Hobart in February and 133 against India at Hambantota in July. Sangakkara came up with some handy knocks in the other games as well. He missed out on a hundred by three runs against Pakistan at Colombo in June, registered scores of 73 and 65 against India at different venues and made 64 and 51 not out against Australia during the tri-series.
January 2011 to December 2011: The year saw Sangakkara having another impressive run. In 27 matches, he notched up 1127 runs at an average of 51. The only blemish if any was that he registered only one century during this year. His only ton of the year came against New Zealand at Mumbai in March. Sangakkara registered as many as nine fifties in 2011. His prominent knocks included 92 against Canada, 78 against Pakistan, 75 against England and West Indies, 73 not out against Australia and 54 against New Zealand. These figures indicate how consistent he was in the year.
January 2010 to December 2010: Sangakkara’s figures were impressive in 2010 as well, but he wasn’t getting the big hundreds back then. In 17 games, he notched up 726 runs at an average of 48 with a highest score of 74, which came against Bangladesh at Dhaka at the very start of the year. Most of his other significant scores came against the Indians that year – 60, 68 and 55 at Dhaka and 73 and 71 against Dambulla. Sangakkara narrowly failed to register a half century against Australia and New Zealand in 2010, his highest being 49 and 48 respectively.
--By A Cricket Analyst