And so the start of a new age of Sri Lankan cricket has begun.
It was the Kings first dabble with captaincy and seems to have taken to it pretty quickly.
A wounded Australian side is always a dangerous prospect but yesterday they only suffered further damage at the hands of SL and Kumar.
The difference between the two sides begins and maybe even ends with the two captains.
Sangakkara speaks 2020. Ponting still has no idea what the job entails.
While Ricky was taking a break, Kumar was beefing up his bank account and his 2020 know how in the IPL.
Whie Kumar relied on a young Udana, Ponting misplaced his faith in Lee, who should have been dropped after the first game.
2020 cricket does require large helping of luck, but Sangakkara didn’t wait around for it to come his way. When Australia were starting to fly, with Ponting and Watson, he played his trump card – Mendis.
It wasn’t just a bowling change for the sake of it. He did have Murali, Sanath and Dilshan, all tried and tested veterans with the white ball slower stuff.
He picked Mendis, knowing that the Aussies had never played him. And as we have seen with India, if its your first time out against Mendis,well, good luck to you. In a 2020, you almost have no chance.
Before that he opened the bowling with Matthews – another move Australia probably didn’t expect- and Sanath.
While Sri Lanka’s first 6 overs were bowled by 5 different bowlers, Ponting used 4 – without a spinner.
Kumar cashed in on his innovativeness. Ponting looked sluggish and lazy in his orthodoxy.
While Malinga, Mendis, Murali and Udana, SLs front line bowlers, were bowled out. Johnson,Watson and Clarke had 5 overs left between them.
Clarke might not be considered a front liner but he was getting considerable spin and the pitch was helping the floaters.
When it was time to bat, Sangakkara took the lead after Sanath fell. Knowing he needed to bat through and provide support to SLs only other big hitter in Dilshan.
In the process he took SL to the super8s.
Knocked out Australia.
Out flanked Ponting.
And showed him and the Aussies how to really take 2020 seriously. By winning .