Not many batsmen tore into bowling attacks like Sanath Jayasuriya — who possessed great power and hand-eye coordination — did in the 1996 World Cup. The southpaw’s assaults rattled the confidence of rival teams. Five editions later, a struggling Sri Lanka crave for the kind of brilliance that Jayasuriya exhibited.
Comparisons in sports trigger excitement. It’s a way of staying connected with the original. Kusal Perera is known as the next-generation Jayasuriya. The 28-year-old’s style of batting resembles Jayasuriya’s. Perera has confessed that Jayasuriya is his hero. But it’s one thing to adopt your idol’s style and quite another to match his or her feats. Perera, so far in his six-year international stint, has done enough to be Sri Lanka’s key player at the World Cup.