Kumar Sangakkara is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket for Sri Lanka © Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket for Sri Lanka © Getty Images

Kumar Sangakkara called for Sri Lankan selectors to focus on Test cricket after the national side’s loss against New Zealand in the first Test at Dunedin. The former Sri Lankan cricketer urged the board to show more faith in the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne, even though their records do not inspire a lot of confidence at present. Sangakkara, who had called time on his international career earlier this year, was a slightly late bloomer in Test cricket as well, and averaged less than 25 in his first year of Test cricket before getting into his groove. The current Sri Lankan side is under some pressure following the retirement of Sangakkara earlier in 2015 and Mahela Jayawardene in 2014. Their reserves, barring Dinesh Chandimal, have yet to step up. Angelo Mathews and Chandimal are the current lynchpins of a batting order that is low on experience but not on talent.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Sangakkara said, “Unfortunately there are guys like Thirimanne sitting on the sidelines. Sometimes one-day cricket and T20 cricket overshadow Test cricket, but at the end of the day if you’re a cricketing nation you want to have the best Test-playing side out there in the middle.” Thirimanne, who has yet to establish himself in Test cricket, was called a “fantastic player” by Sangakkara. The veteran Sri Lankan went on to say that the young Sri Lankan side needed to be given a long rope. “They are not going to perform overnight miracles. We need a good solid one-and-a-half years to really build up. Hopefully some consistent selection will also go a long way towards helping that.”