Since the last post in this season of goodbyes, Kumar Sangakkara has played his last test and Brad Haddin has retired as predicted in the last post. Ian Bell and Shane Watson has also said adios to the formats they were least effective.
Kumar Sangakkara, like old wine, got better with age as he developed from a wicket keeper batsman to the mainstay of the Sri Lankan batting and then to one of the legends of Cricket. His sublime touches, with the lazy elegance that makes left-handers look special was a joy to behold. As the prized wicket in the lineup, (no disrespect to Mahela Jayawardene, his partner in crime on many occasions) he was often the difference between victory and defeat. As a neutral watching him was one of the delights of the day in cricket.
Ian Bell and Shane Watson are two players who on their days could be world beaters but almost unselectable on the others. Watson never quite mastered the Tests and Bell was similar in ODIs, but both provided some fine displays. Watson opening the bat in Tests was exemplary in how a batsman could curb his natural game. For Bell the occasional bursts of aggressive intent when he opened in ODIs showed his stroke making ability. It’s ironical how both performed well while opening in their least preferred formats. But then that’s life.