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Kusal Mendis will end up as the classy player in world cricket: Steve Rixon

Mendis played a confident and match-winning knock of 84 runs to seal the memorable series win for Sri Lanka in South Africa.

Kusal Mendis
Kusal Mendis. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka stunned South Africa in their own backyard in the recently concluded two-match Test series. If Kusal Perera was the hero to scrip the unlikeliest win for the Islanders in the series opener, it was a comprehensive show against all the odds from the visitors in the second match to seal the contest 2-0. Kusal Mendis was at the helm this time and when it mattered the most, he dished out some proper cricketing shots in the run-chase to take his team over the line.

Mendis was out of form for a long time and apart from flashes of brilliance, he had nothing to show especially in the longest format of the game. Even in the South Africa series, Mendis wasn’t amongst the runs in the first three outings. He had managed to muster only 28 runs before one of the most talented batsmen in Sri Lanka found his groove on the third day of the second Test match.

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Mendis, along with Oshada Fernando, took the attack to the full strength Proteas bowling attack with Sri Lanka needing 137 runs to win with eight wickets in hand. The duo remained unbeaten and gunned down the target without much fuss.

He plays some proper cricket shots

Kusal Mendis scored 84 runs off just 110 deliveries and his knock was laced with 13 delightful fours. Praising him to the hilt was Sri Lanka’s fielding coach Steve Rixon. He felt that Mendis is the talented player and will become on the classy players in the game.

“Going out there with a clean head helped. Kusal Mendis will go onto become a classy player in world cricket. He plays some proper cricket shots. I don’t see them played any better in the world. I am seeing a bit of class in Mendis. We need to keep him relaxed so the class can come out,” Rixon was quoted as saying by The Papere.

The 65-year-old, however, was wary of the special talent in the cricketer and opined that the right grooming will surely make him the world-class player.

“The kid is only 24 years of age. He needs a lot of mentoring. But you don’t want to take any individuality away from him. The kid has got something special in him. As time goes on, we will see him expand. He is still in the infant stage and has got some self-doubt. But the reality is, he is class. People will see greater things from him as time goes on,” Rixon further added.

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