Sri Lanka are all set to take on India in the first Test of the three-match series at Galle from Wednesday, 12 August. Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is confident that his side would do everything to make the farewell series a memorable one for Kumar Sangakkara.
Sangakkara wanted to retire right after the conclusion of ICC World Cup 2015. But a few of the former Sri Lanka Cricket selectors had requested him to play for a few Test matches. And now he is about to call time on his illustrious career after the second Test match against India.
"We are very thankful for Sanga the way he has performed over the last 15 years and he is easily the most consistent batsman I have seen. I haven't seen the great Donald Bradman but Sanga is easily the most consistent batsman I've ever seen. We learnt a lot from him up to now and he is ready to teach us and pass on his experience, and we have benefited a lot from him," Mathews told the reporters at a press conference on Monday.
"We are all geared up and we want to give him (Sangakkara) a good farewell. He's been a great servant for Sri Lankan cricket and for the team and we are very thankful to him for what we are today. Our team is in a better position because of contributions from players like Sanga, Mahela (Jayawardena), Thilan (Samaraweera) and TM Dilshan. So now it's up to the younger generation to take responsibility and show what we are capable of," he added.
Sri Lanka are going through a transitional phase as their big guns got retired or are about to retire. Mahela Jayawardene has already hung his boots from the longest format of the game last year after the Pakistan series. And now Sangakkara would be doing the same after the second Test match at P Sara Oval in Colombo. Sangakkara would be heading to the UK to play for the English County side Surrey as he had made prior commitments.
"It's going to be a tough ask. It's quite easy to captain with players like Sanga and Mahela in the side. They had enough experience and now it's going to be a fairly tough job in this transition period with new faces and it's going to be a tough challenge for all of us.
"We have got to be patient as the younger guys are very skillful. It's just that they need exposure in the international arena and have yet to learn, to learn you have to play and be patient with them and hopefully they can take the team where it wants to be," Mathews said.