New Delhi: Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar paid rich tributes to retiring Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara by hailing the stylish southpaw as a role model for not just the Sri Lankans, but for cricketers across the world.
"He (Sanga) had his own style of batting. Left-handers are generally good to watch, and so was he. Of course, as an opposition player, I naturally didn't enjoy watching him bat when he got going! Sangakkara has had a great, accomplished career. He has been a role model for not just the Sri Lankans, but for cricketers across the world,” Tendulkar told the Times of India.
The 41-year-old also pointed out the way Sanga changed his game in the second half of his career.
“He's been a fantastic, world-class cricketer. It's been great to watch him grow as a cricketer. Towards the beginning of his career, he wasn't a big hitter of the ball. However, I feel that he really picked it up in the second half of his career, where he would change gears and attack at will, unleashing those big shots.
“It was part of his growth as a cricketer, and that comes with experience. Sangakkara exploited this experience beautifully. His consistency in this period was amazing. It was the sign of a world-class cricketer,” added the Tendulkar.
Sanga is set to play his farewell Test in P Sara Oval, Colombo against India, starting August 20. In his illustrious career the left-hander amassed 12,350 runs in 133 Tests over 15 years.