Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kumar has the mind of a captain - Sanath Jayasuriya | Interview

Kumar has the mind of a captain & Ajantha Mendis is one of the great spinners, says the Senior-most pro Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya is less than three weeks short of his 40th birthday, but age isn’t weighing him down.

If anything, the oldest cricketer from a Test-playing nation (Canada’s Sunil Dhaniram is already 40-plus) showed yet again, against the West Indies on Wednesday, that he’s as hungry as ever.

Jayasuriya interacted with the media after his mind-blowing 81 (off only 47 balls). Afterwards, he briefly spoke to us separately.

The following are excerpts

Age not being a factor for him

(Laughs) You don’t have to worry about age as long as you’re playing well and performing... We’ve got good physios and trainers as part of the support staff.

Realisation that Wednesday was his day

When I played the cover drive in the second over... Was a perfect shot... If the ball is in my area or my zone, then I’ll hit it hard.

Going after Fidel Edwards

He’s their key bowler, but had an off day.

Seeming to enjoy T20

I am, yes... It suits my natural game, which is to play attacking cricket... Of course, one must be fit to keep pace with the younger players.

Whether he would advise his Mumbai Indians’ captain Sachin Tendulkar to take back his retirement from T20 Internationals

It’s not for me to advise Sachin.

Missing out on a hundred

Definitely a bit disappointing, but I was looking at more runs for Sri Lanka not so much at a possible hundred... But, yes, when a batsman is set he should bat for the full 20 overs...

Tillekaratne Dilshan as an opening partner

Oh, he’s playing really well... I didn’t have to do anything different, just play my natural game. I can’t improvise like him, though.

Whether his 124-run partnership (12.3 overs only) with Dilshan reminded him of his sensational association with Romesh Kaluwitharana in the mid-Nineties

Well, yes... One always remembers those days... One looks to continue batting in the same manner.

Impact made by Ajantha Mendis

There are times when even we can’t read him at nets... He’s one of the great spinners.

Spinners striking it rich in the World T20

I think the success of our spinners is due to the variations they possess... Not that the wickets have been turning a lot.

Opening the bowling against the West Indies

We try to do different things... The call was the captain’s.

The IPL experience

Those who played have gained... Unfortunately, the Mumbai Indians didn’t do well... The top-order didn’t perform consistently and we’ll have to improve in the next edition.

Looking ahead to the Super Eight matches

We’ll be taking it match by match... For now, our focus is on Friday, when we face Pakistan (at Lord’s)... We aren’t looking too far ahead... We were in a tough group, but showed character by winning both the qualifying matches.

Finally, on Sri Lanka’s new captain, Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar’s good... He has the mind of a captain.

Source : The Telegraph

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