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Kumar owes it to Muralidharan

Galle: Kumar Sangakkara’s 10th double century, against Pakistan in the first Test, put him in the second spot in the all-time list of Test double centurions. He is now just two behind Australian legend Don Bradman’s 12. Sangakkara, though, doesn’t want any comparison to be made between him and Don.

“I think everyone is second to Don. I’m pretty happy that I’m two double-hundreds behind him but that’s probably the only way I can even get close to reaching him, so I’m pretty happy with the day’s play,” Sangakkara told reporters.

Sangakkara feels years of keeping wicket to Muttiah Muralidharan has helped him to succeed against Saeed Ajmal. That Sangakkara averages 167 against Ajmal gives one enough proof of the batsman’s complete domination over the off-spinner.

“I think it’s mainly because I’ve kept a lot to Murali, so I’ve had to learn to read deliveries from the hand,” Sangakkara said of his good record against Ajmal. “I don’t say that I read Ajmal all the time, but most of the time I do read his doosra, so that makes it slightly easier to play. Because I’m a left-handed batsman I don’t have to worry about being hit on the pads when he beats my bat. If he does beat my bat, it’s usually straight to the wicketkeeper. As a right-hander, he can beat you on both sides of the bat, so that makes it a bit hard. It’s a combination of both factors.”

Sangakkara has also scored more runs than any other batsman against Pakistan, with 2707. Three of his double-hundreds and 10 of his 37 centuries have also come against them.

Asked about his good record against Pakistan, Sangakkara said: “My first double-hundred was against them in Lahore.

“Since then I’ve just had a knack of scoring against them. They’ve got a very good attack, but it’s maybe because I’m a left-hander. Maybe their spinners find it a bit difficult to bowl to me — I don't know.