New Delhi: As Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara bids adieu to Test cricket after playing two more innings at most, the smashing ton by Dinesh Chandimal against India on Day 3 of the first Test was a huge sigh of relief for the Angelo Mathews-side which is deseperately short of experienced players.
Chandimal, touted long ago as 'the next big thing' in Sri Lankan cricket, failed to prove his potential on a regular basis in the recent past. But the right-hander was back in form at Galle, where he followed his first innings score of 59 with a brilliant 162-run knock in the second outing.
In the current squad, apart from Mathews, no other cricketer has shown consistency in all formats. In the absence of senior players, a lot is expected from the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne and Chandimal himself, and the latter once again showed why he is someone who can be an integral part of the Sri Lanka squad going forward.
Chandimal's knock came at a time when the Lankans had lost five wickets for just 95 runs. Since there on, Chandimal and Thirimanne (44) flattened the Indian bowling attack with a 125-run stand for the sixth wicket. Chandimal followed it with another impressive stand – 82 runs, with Jehan Mubarak, who went after the Indian bowlers with a quickfire 49.
Considering that the Lankans are undergoing a transition phase, they need more of such knocks from Chandimal, to infuse confidence in the youngsters as well.