Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara celebrates reaching his century during their Cricket World Cup match against Australia in Sydney, March 8, 2015. Image Credit: REUTERS

Hobart: Sri Lankan fans have all arrived in Hobart in droves, wanting to witness Kumar Sangakkara’s fourth consecutive century in the World Cup. All of them strongly believe that the veteran batsman will notch up a ton, which could be his 25th century in One Day Internationals, in the match against Scotland on Wednesday.

The strong belief of the fans stems from the fact that Hobart’s Bellerive Oval is one of Sangakkara’s favourite grounds. It was here in November 2007 that he cracked a stupendous 192 against Australia. Though Sri Lanka lost the Test by 96 runs, Sangakkara delayed the hosts’ victory by helping his team score 410 in their second innings.

Interestingly, the series that Australia won was named after two legendary spinners — Shane Warne-Muttiah Muralitharan trophy.

Muralitharan remarked in his column for ICC soon after Sangakkara hit his third century that his former team colleague is the number one ODI batsman in the world at the moment. “You can talk all you like about Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers or Glenn Maxwell — and all of them have played superbly in this tournament — but Sanga is the man all other sides will fear most of all.”

Sangakkara trained at the Hobart as usual. Anyone who gets to watch him bat at the nets will be amazed at the concentration he gives in correcting his footwork and also his swing of the bat. The way he is training and correcting himself makes everyone wonder whether he is really the batsman who is planning to retire from One-Day cricket at the end of the World Cup and Test cricket in August.

A Sri Lanka fan said on his arrival: “Sangakkara could not get his double century as he made 192 against Australia. So it is an unfinished innings from him here and he will surely get his 25th century here.”

A devoted Sri Lankan fan, unable to hold back his adoration for Sangakkara, asked: “Sangakkara has made 372 runs at an average of 124.00 and a strike rate of 116.25. The second best average is AB De Villiers with 79.50. Isn’t it time everyone admits he is the best batsman in the world today and not compare him with others?”

If Sangakkara gets his fourth consecutive century against Scotland, he will then be on course to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs in a single World Cup — 673 runs from 11 matches in 2003 in South Africa.