Kolkata: The influence of shorter versions of the game has had a positive rub-off on Test cricket which can only make the longer version more interesting, feels Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan legend and one of the alltime greats of the game.
‘‘Batsmen are trying newer shots in the five-day game like switch-hits which was unthinkable before. If you look at the Sydney Test, someone like Rishabh Pant upped the ante and it was great to see him and (Cheteshwar) Pujara, two batsmen with different mindsets, holding forth for India,’’ Sangakkara said.
The 43-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, a former Sri Lankan captain, has had a long and illustrious career which saw him enrich both formats of the game with tons of runs and dismissals (12,400 Test runs with 38 centuries; 14,234 ODI runs with 25 centuries). Even as he was approaching the twilight of his international career, ‘Sanga’ started leaving his footprint in franchise cricket all over the world – never carrying the baggage of any conservatism honed from his early playing days.
Sangakkara, who is currently serving his second year as the President of Marylebone Cricket Club – took upon the challenge of being a Mentor for Team Abu Dhabi – one of the eight franchises for the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League for the upcoming season. Speaking in zoom interview, the articulate cricketer held forth on a wide range of issues from his new role to the growth potential of T10 format, how he sees the role of a mentor in the slam-bang world of cricket to racism in the sport.