Seeing Kusal Perera without a bat one has no reason to compare him with Sanath Jayasuriya. He has at least enough hair on his head to distinguish himself from Sri Lanka’s current chief selector who once had redefined the batting in one-day cricket.
But the moment Kusal takes it onto the crease, his stance, his back-lift and his penchant for playing with a cross bat surely would remind all of Jayasuriya.
This is one reason he is already a star in Sri Lankan cricket despite playing only six one-day internationals, all in 2013. But one cannot remain a star always just because he bats like a legend. He must perform like the legend and Kusal showed he has everything in him to be called as a new Jayasuriya.
When the Sri Lanka cricket team were playing the second Test against Bangladesh in Colombo, Kusal was busy in making a new history at a nearby ground in club cricket.
His 336 from 275 balls for Colts CC against Saracens at Havelock Park, Colombo, is the first ever triple century in the 75-year history of Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket.
Jayasuriya hit Sri Lanka’s first triple century in Test and Kusal now followed in his footstep in domestic cricket, but this not where the story is going to be ended surely.
Before his Test debut Jayasuriya took the limelight hitting two double centuries for the A team on Pakistan tour. And despite his low-key start to international career, Sri Lanka’s think tanks always believed in him for those two innings.
Kusal also started to enjoy the same privilege in international cricket. He has not scored any fifty in his six matches and yet he was promoted as an opener in the first one-day international against Bangladesh. Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews already spoke very highly of the 22-year-old left-handed batsman.
‘He certainly reminds me of the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya, especially the shots that he plays,’ said Mathews. ‘He is very fearless and you know he wants to take on any bowler that comes his way. He takes lot of pressure off [Tillakaratne] Dilshan as well.’
And this is one reason Mathews said he gave Kusal a free licence to go for his shots.
‘Every single player has his own style, so we don’t need to change that in any way. We just want him to pay his natural game, go out there and enjoy,’ he said.
Since the retirement of Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka have struggled a lot to find a suitable opening partner for Dilshan in all formats and it seems the new Jayasuriya has arrived with a perfect solution.
-With New Age input