Mathews tips Thirimanne to become Lanka's star player in future

Sydney, Jan 17 (ANI): Sri Lanka vice-captain Angelo Mathews has tipped young Lahiru Thirimanne to be a future star for the national team in coming years following his magnificent century during their series-leveling eight-wickets win over Australia in the second one-day in Adelaide.

Thirimanne has been the surprise packet of Sri Lanka's tour of Australia, turning himself from an injury reinforcement into last-start match-winner in Adelaide, to bolster hopes of a one-day series upset, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The 23-year-old also scored a fighting 91 after being rushed into the third Test loss at the SCG and is the tourists' form batsman heading into Friday's pivotal ODI in Brisbane.

Mathews felt Thirimanne's unbeaten 102 at the Adelaide Oval, bringing up his maiden international century and the eight-wicket victory with a boundary, highlighted the left-hander's immense potential.

Before his fighting Test top-score in Sydney, Thirimanne had struggled opening in seven previous Tests (averaging just 20) while he'd also failed to nail down a place in the one-day team (26 in 32 matches).

But Mathews said the unruffled technician was on track to follow in the footsteps of veteran stars Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

Mathews said Thirimanne had seen so many challenges like bating up and down the order for Sri Lanka, but he has responded to all of them very positively and in a good spirit.

The all rounder added Thirimanne has grabbed his opportunity in the Test series and he also showed his mark in the second ODI.

Mathew said Thirimanne stays calm in pressure situations and handles them really well, adding he is definitely a guy to watch out for the future.

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