The phrase 'cool as a cucumber' would perhaps be an understatement to describe Kumar Sangakkara's chilled demeanour in Bangladesh. The 36-year-old seemed to be in no hurry at all in the training session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday. And why should he? He has hammered more than 1300 runs against the hosts at an astounding average of 81.88. In fact, some even dismissed his 75 in the first Test as a below-par performance.
It there was no surprise when the former Sri Lankan captain exuded confidence ahead of the second Test yesterday
“It was very good to see that we stuck to our disciplines and our basics really well – especially from Mahela, Kaushal Silva and Kithuruwan. I thought they were excellent. Kithuruwan especially, coming in almost on the morning of the game for Prasanna, and to be able to do what he did shows a special talent,” said Sangakkara.
Despite the thrashing win in the first Test, the 36-year-old refused to take it easy and believed that the pressure would still be on.
“We're pretty much used to Bangladesh putting up a pretty good fight usually. They pushed us in the Test series at home, and we walked away with a one-all in the one-day series. We won't expect anything less than that from them here. So the earlier game was easier than we thought it would be, but we expect it to be different here,” he added.
A former wicketkeeper-captain himself, there was a time when Sangakkara did exactly what Mushfiqur Rahim is doing for Bangladesh right now. Mushfiqur's performance behind the stumps in the first Test led many to question if the captain was getting overwhelmed by the multiple responsibilities. Sangakkara felt that only Mushfiqur himself could answer the crucial question.
“We bat in different positions. He bats at 6, and I've always batted at 3. I used to keep and bat no. 3, so after you've kept for a long time and you walk in at 3 – especially if an opener gets out pretty early – that was one of the reasons I was asked to give up keeping,
“That's a question for the Bangladeshi selectors and Mushfiqur to answer for himself. It really depends on what you enjoy and how you do it. If you're batting at 6, I don't think the fatigue factor comes into it too much. You can put your legs up and take a break. It's really what's good for the side at the end,” said Sangakkara.
Asked if the visitors had chances of getting complacent in the second Test following the thumping win, he said, “Whether we are complacent or not can only be seen when we start playing. Complacency is not something we think about or pay much attention to.”