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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Virat Kohli one of the world’s greatest: Asanka Gurusinha

Terming India skipper Virat Kohli as one of the world’s greatest players, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup hero Asanka Gurusinha acknowledged the challenge in front of the hosts in the upcoming three-Test series

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Jul 25, 2017 22:54 IST
Sri Lankan cricket great Asanka Gurusinha has termed India skipper Virat Kohli as one of the world’s greatest.
Sri Lankan cricket great Asanka Gurusinha has termed India skipper Virat Kohli as one of the world’s greatest.(AP)

Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup hero, Asanka Gurusinha has seen some great batting line-ups in his playing career. He himself was part of one of the most dazzling batting units in cricket history, opening the batting in Arjuna Ranatunga’s outfit which included Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva.

He sure knows when he sees class. Even though he is in the opposite camp as manager of the Sri Lanka side, the defacto incharge of the home team, he has no qualms about admitting that his team’s bowlers are up against it against Virat Kohli & Co.

“It (India) is a very strong and experienced batting line-up. It is not going to be easy for any side, not just Sri Lanka, so you have to come with really good plans and then execute in the middle, which is the most important thing. If you come up with plans but don’t execute it, then it is not going to help. My team (Sri Lanka) is ready now,” Gurusinha told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of his team’s practice session.

READ | No secret weapons vs India this time, says Sri Lanka skipper Rangana Herath

“They (Virat & Co) are all aggressive players and they have played enough cricket to adjust to any conditions and it is our job to outthink them and that’s what we will focus on,” said Gurusinha, the former left-handed opening batsman who had scored a crucial half-century in the final of the 1996 World Cup to set up Sri Lanka’s successful chase.

He singled out Kohli for special mention and is banking on Kusal Mendis to develop into the Virat Kohli of Sri Lanka cricket. “Virat is one of the greatest players in the world and has proven it by consistently scoring.

“But to be honest, my personal favourite is Kusal Mendis. He is lot like Virat, in terms of preparations and all that. I am hoping one day he will get to that level.”

The 22-year-old Mendis has emerged as the future of the Sri Lankan batting, playing some sparkling innings under pressure, and will be one of the players to watch out for in this series. He will be up against Kohli and it will be a contest for the connoisseurs like Gurusinha.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 22:43 IST

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