Kumar Sangakkara, will hang his boots after the second Test match against India and the Sri Lankan team is trying to give a fitting farewell to their great. Sangakkara has played 133 Test matches and piled up 12,350 runs in his illustrious career. A career spanning of 15 years has reached its final chapter. The Indian great Sachin Tendulkar said that it would be one of the huge emotional moment and one could understand that.

On Monday, Tendulkar paid glowing tributes to Sangakkara, as he spoke exclusively to TOI about the Lankan star. “He’s been a fantastic, world-class cricketer. It’s been great to watch him grow as a cricketer. Towards the beginning of his career, he wasn’t a big hitter of the ball. However, I feel that he really picked it up in the second half of his career, where he would change gears and attack at will, unleashing those big shots. It was part of his growth as a cricketer, and that comes with experience. Sangakkara exploited this experience beautifully. His consistency in this period was amazing. It was the sign of a world-class cricketer,” Tendulkar gushed.

“He had his own style of batting. Left-handers are generally good to watch, and so was he. Of course, as an opposition player, I naturally didn’t enjoy watching him bat when he got going! Sangakkara has had a great, accomplished career. He has been a role model for not just the Sri Lankans, but for cricketers across the world,” the Indian batting legend said.

Sangakkara was always a thorn in India’s flesh, having scored 1302 runs in 16 Tests @54.25, with five hundreds and two fifties to boot. “It was great to play against him. Whenever we played against Sri Lanka, he was the danger man we looked to get out. I thought him to be a dangerous batsman because he had a special ability: Even though he looked uncomfortable in the middle, he had this knack for scoring runs,” Tendulkar felt.

The Indian maestro, whose records were threatened by Sangakkara for a while before he announced his retirement, felt that batsmen like him always enjoyed the pressure of being the main run-getter of the side. “I’m sure he enjoyed that. The leading players of a side always relish that role,” the legend said.

Tendulkar wished the Lankan giant ‘all the best’ in whatever he does post-retirement. “I want to congratulate Sangakkara on a glorious career. I wish him all the success in whatever he chooses to do next. Above all, I wish good health to both him and his family. An international career which lasts that long (15 years) is basically a combination of will power, desire, vision, dream, aspiration, self-belief and discipline,” he concluded.

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