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Kumar Sangakkara is equal with Sir Donald Bradman: Ravi Shastri

| August 17, 2015, 4:31 PM IST

India team director Ravi Shastri flipped back the years and hailed Kumar Sangakkara as one of the statesmen of the modern game.

"I saw him from his first game," Shastri said.

"I was commentating on that game when he played and he is still around. He broke into being one of the top two or three players and he never got out of that. There might have been a one year or a six-month period where his form might have dipped. But otherwise, for sheer consistency, he is unmatched," he said.

Shastri was also of the view that two stalwarts of Sri Lanka cricket - Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene deserved a lot more accolades than they got. "I don't think both Sanga and Mahela have got the accolades they should have got. If both of them were playing for India, they would have been on top of a tree or put up on top of a tree.

"There are very few players who fall in that list. You can bring Sachin Tendulkar in that league as the kind of player that once broke into the top two or three never moved out of there. Sangakkara's record shows you that. He has got runs world over and scored double hundreds like it is a pass time. He is equal with Sir Donald Bradman. We love Sanga for the way he has entertained and he has been a fantastic ambassador for the game of cricket.

Sangakkara, who will be playing the final Test of his career against India in Colombo, had announced his retirement even before the start of the series.

That is a legacy that he will leave behind. I think every Sri Lankan should be proud of what he has achieved not just personally but the way he has conducted himself in going round the world as an international cricketer. You can call him as one of the statesmen of the modern game," Shastri added.

Sangakkara's didn't do much in his penultimate Test match at Galle and scored scored 5 and 40 in the two innings but Tharindu Kaushal and Rangana Herath took Sri Lanka to victory.

Elaborating further on what made Sangakkara so special, Shastri said, "His ability to adapt and concentrate and his ability to bat for long periods of time. He had a wide range of shots, understood his game well and obviously worked as hard as any you would get. Also, his simple ability to assess the conditions very quickly, be it England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies or Colombo made him very special."

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