Sri Lanka will have to punch above their weight to give Sangakkara the ideal farewell © Getty Images
Sri Lanka will have to punch above their weight to give Sangakkara the ideal farewell © Getty Images

For 15 years, Kumar Sangakkara has worn the Sri Lankan whites and in those years he has entertained the world and often taken it by awe. A man with an average hovering around 58 — among the best in the modern era — certainly deserves to leave the international fray a hero. But Rishad D’Souza feels the odds are stacked against Sri Lanka in regards to giving it’s greatest son a fairytale farewell. ALSO READ: Milestones and records to aim for Kumar Sangakkara in his last series before retirement

Sangakkara is a genius of a batsman. While Mahela Jayawardene was more aesthetically impressive of the two Sri Lankans whose careers ran parallel, Sangakkara made it count with the sheer volume of runs he scored with amazing consistency across the globe. A man of his calibre surely deserves to finish the game on a high with his team winning the match. India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Galle preview: Visitors chase history in Kumar Sangakkara’s farewell series

Unfortunately, for him and for Sri Lanka, it looks highly unlikely that India will lose against them. Sri Lanka’s team is right in the throes of a transformation stage and young players are still finding their feet in international cricket. In the recent home series against Pakistan, they were beaten quite comfortably in two of the three Tests.

There is no reason to believe that India will not be able to capitalise against a feeble Sri Lankan team. Moreover, Virat Kohli, the new Indian skipper after MS Dhoni‘s retirement, is yet to win a game and he will go as hard as possible to make that happen when facing Sri Lanka. READ: India will not miss Murali Vijay in 1st vs Sri Lanka, KL Rahul apt replacement

During the three-match Test series against Pakistan the Sri Lankans played immature cricket and often seemed to be playing without a sense of direction. Perhaps, the retirement of Jayawardene and the imminent retirement of Sangakkara have weighed down heavily on them as a team.

They often made solid individual contributions but repeatedly failed to make a collective effort. The man in question, Sangakkara himself did not look at his best. In the four innings he played, he got the scores of 50 and 18 in the first Test followed by more tame innings in the second where he got just 34 and a duck.

Recognising the imminent dip in form, Sangakkara was keen to call his retirement even in the Test format following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. However, the Sri Lankan selection panel requested him to stay on for a few more Tests and he had obliged.

Nevertheless, it seems age has caught up with Sangakkara towards the fag end of his career. As much as he and his fans would like him to muster a couple of big scores in the coming two Tests to help his team to victory, the fact is that he is not at his best to be able to do that at will.

Sri Lanka will need some truly inspirational performances to convert the hope of giving Sangakkara a dream farewell a reality and perhaps just the fact that he is retiring from the game he took by storm, will serve as that very inspiration. Yet Sri Lanka seem limited by ability and mental fortitude to be able to give Sangakkara the ideal goodbye.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)