Sangakkara tips Root for greatness


Kumar Sangakkara says England batsman Joe Root can become a "modern-day great".

Root has been one of his country's most consistent performers since making his debut in 2012, scoring 3,406 Test runs - including nine centuries - at an average of 54.93.

The 25-year-old was on form again in first-class cricket last week, making 213 as Yorkshire defeated Surrey in the County Championship.

Speaking ahead of Sri Lanka's forthcoming series against England, Sangakkara pinpointed Root's measured aggression as the key to his success.

"I think Joe's main strength is his temperament, he knows his strengths and weaknesses very well, he knows his scoring areas very well and he's a batsman who looks to score runs all the time, who looks to move the game forward," he told Omnisport.

"Those are very important things in a batsman's set-up. Everyone has their own technique, their own method of executing shots, but to be able to tie that up all together into a very effective overall game is the most difficult thing and I think Joe's got there very quickly in every format that he's played. 

"He's very good on the back foot, he gets a good stride in on his front foot, he's good off his legs, so there's a lot of things to like about Joe."

A former Sri Lanka captain and the leading Test run-scorer in his country's history, Sangakkara is well-placed to judge a player's potential impact, the 38-year-old, who retired last year, tipping Root to maintain and perhaps even exceed the high standards he has set early in his international career.

"I think he's just going to get better and better as the years go by and he's probably got a very good chance to be a modern-day great," Sangakkara said.

The first match of a three-Test series between England and Sri Lanka starts at Headingley on Thursday.