Sri Lanka batting great Kumar Sangakkara has given his backing to Kusal Mendis to take over the number three role in the Test side and score runs in the upcoming series in England.
The Sri Lanka selectors have identified the 21-year-old Mendis to bat at first drop in Test cricket, a position that Sangakkara made his own in a glittering career.
A left-handed Sangakkara, who is currently playing county cricket in England, hit 12 400 runs in 134 Test matches in a career that started in the year 2000 and ended in August last year.
Mendis has already played in three Tests with a highest-score of 46 but will be backed in the three-Test series against England.
Sangakkara told ESPNcricinfo: "Kusal has a lot to offer. He has a great head position, he gets into the ball very well, he has a lot of good things to build upon, so he'll be very special in years to come."
The 38-year-old Sangakkara is also hopeful that young paceman Dushmantha Chameera would stand up to the rigours of international cricket.
Chameera, who is 24-years-old, has already taken 18 wickets in just four Tests with a best bowling performance of five for 47.
Sangakkara said of Chameera: "He is exciting, with very good control and bowls very quickly, at 150kph. There are some sparks that augur well for the future of Sri Lanka cricket."