Former batting legend Aravinda de Silva hailed batsman Kusal Silva for his 176 runs innings at Pallekele Stadium that helped Australia to win the first Test of the series.
“His calm aggression shows the character of the person he is. He’s got all the material to make it big,” said De Silva after Mendis had swept spinner Nathan Lyon for six to reach his first three-figure innings in Test cricket playing in his seventh Test.
“Kusal tends to bat a lot like Mahela Jayawardene. If he can maintain the same standards as Mahela I am sure he will be able to reach the same lofty heights as Mahela did,” said De Silva. “I have seen Kusal when he played in the under 19 side and he showed he had a lot of potentials. He was fast-tracked into the national team and it is now paying great dividends.”
Arvinda had scored his maiden Test century playing in his fifth Test against Pakistan when he smashed fast bowler Imran Khan for six in the first Test played at Faisalabad in 1985.
De Silva went on to score 19 more hundred in a 93-Test career.
Sri Lanka for years has been going through a transition phase since the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They lost to Pakistan and India at home and then lost to England in England.
At Pallekele, the Mendis’ hundred helped Sri Lanka to get a 268 runs lead which was too much for the Australia as they lost the match by 106 runs. Australia left-arm spinner Steve O’Keeffe and Keeper Peter Nevill tried to save the match blocking the spinners. They didn’t score a single run in 22 overs, but the top order had left too much to for tailenders of Australia.