Former Sri Lanka batsman Aravinda de Silva has lavished praise on Kusal Mendis for his century against India.
That Kusal Mendis is supremely talented was very much evident after his stupendous 176-run knock against Australia last year, thus becoming the youngest Sri Lankan to score a Test century against the team from Down Under. And the right-handed batsman once again showcased his immense talent by playing a stunning 110-run knock on the third day of the ongoing second Test against India in Colombo.
Sri Lanka had their back against the wall when they were asked to follow-on after being dismissed for a paltry 183 in reply to India’s 622. Their miseries were further compounded when Upul Tharanga returned to the hut after scoring just 2 but Mendis launched a brilliant counterattack to not only negate the Indian spinners but keep the scoreboard ticking at a good pace. The 22-year old scored 110 off just 135 balls including 17 fours and along with Dimuth Karunaratne, who remained unbeaten on 92, added 191 runs for the second wicket to help the hosts finish the day on 209 for 2, still 230 runs behind.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, de Silva said Mendis is the best player in the Sri Lankan team right now and earmarked him for a great future.
“Kusal is the best among the current lot. He has a great future in Sri Lankan cricket, but I feel he should not take the unnecessary pressure, and continue to play freely,” the World Cup-winner said.
Praise from Ashwin:
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who took a five-wicket haul in the first innings, also praised Mendis for taking the attack to the spinners.
“It can be a bit challenging (to play cross-batted strokes). He (Mendis) did hit some good shots off some very, very good balls from the middle of the stumps. He could have put some good balls away for fours and hence the bowlers over-compensated and bowled a few short balls,” Ashwin said at the post-day presser.