Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13

Jayawardene to decide on future after Australia tour

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

December 3, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews and Mahela Jayawardene at a training session, Colombo, April 2, 2012
Mahela Jayawardene: "I feel that it would be better for Mathews to be captain while there are some senior hands around in the team to help him rather than him taking over when there is no one" © AFP
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Mahela Jayawardene will seriously re-assess his future as Sri Lanka's captain and as an international cricketer at the end of the tour of Australia.

"I am going to take it one series at a time especially after the Australian tour I will have time to think," he said. "I took on the responsibility to lead the team for one year and that will end after the Australian tour."

He was speaking before Sri Lanka left for Australia on a tour which includes a series of three Tests, five one-day internationals and twoTwenty20 internationals.

"(After the tour) I can sit back and think what I want to achieve not just for myself but for the team as well. I have always said that I am not a guy who will just hang around for the sake of playing. If the youngsters take on the responsibility and do the job for Sri Lanka then I will be very happy to step aside and give them that opportunity but at the same time I don't want the team in a situation where it will have a harmful effect.

"I want to make that transition as smooth as possible. I don't want to let go all the good things that's been done all these years and just walk away from that. I will sit down and talk to a few people that I talk to usually when it comes to taking a decision and have a chat with the selectors as well especially with the captaincy position, then it will be much easier for me to make a call on what I want to do in my career."

Jayawardene is of the view that it would be the right time to hand over the captaincy to his deputy Angelo Mathews who has been groomed for the position over the past year or so. "Angelo hasn't had the experience of leading the team at international level I agree but the way he led the provincial and SLPL teams to reach the final was most commendable.

"As a deputy he has contributed on the field and off the field and that is something that the public and others don't see. He is very mature. The other important thing is he's earned the respect of all the players, the younger and older players.

"In a way personally I feel that it would be better for him to be captain while there are some senior hands around in the team to help him rather than him taking over when there is no one. You can look at it in different ways.

"You never know whether he can handle the situation unless you give him that opportunity. There were a few issues when I took over the captaincy and to a certain extent I've been able to settle them. The team is more focused on what they want to achieve now. It is a much settled set-up. It could be the right time to give Angelo the captaincy."

One of the priorities of the team is to win a Test in Australia. It is an achievement that has eluded many past Sri Lankan captains. Whether the present team has it in them to tame Australia at this moment of time seems questionable.

"No one gave us a chance to win in South Africa they were the No. 1 team and to beat them on their home soil was a very big achievement," Jayawardene said. "We have the capacity and the talent to go and win a match but how consistently we can do it is something we have to challenge ourselves, that's where we lack. We are definitely in a position to go and beat Australia and put pressure on them.

"When we played Australia in the last one-day series we actually handled their bowlers in their conditions. We do play much better when we are in that kind of situation when it is more challenging and the conditions tough. We've shown that in South Africa and in Australia in the ODI series when the Indians got bamboozled against the same attack we were beating. We didn't perform against New Zealand when we had a bad Test match. We had a couple of sessions that we didn't play well. It doesn't mean that if we challenge their (Australian) bowling unit and if we adapt and play better cricket there we can't hold them on level terms.

"It's very much a mental thing. You have to be mentally stronger to beat Australia. They will come at us. Everyone will know what you have to do in Australia so knowing how you tackle that situation is the most important thing. In a way it's like when you know what going to happen you sometimes know too much about it and then you fall into a trap rather than just concentrate on your strengths. That would be the way to go."

Whether Sri Lanka wins a Test in Australia or not Jayawardene stated that there was no substitute to winning a fifty-over World Cup. "Ask any international cricketer, winning a 50-over World Cup will be one of their priorities. That would always be my disappointment if I don't win a World Cup before I retire. Definitely winning a Test in Australia would be brilliant. We won a Test match in West Indies we've done that in South Africa, in New Zealand and in England. We haven't won a Test in Australia and India so we must try and get those two opportunities before I hang up."

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Posted by ygkd on (December 4, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Australia is hard to beat at home, but if they've been vulnerable at any time in the past 20 years it is right now. Sri Lanka, however, do not have the ideal preparation - one 3-day game in Canberra isn't good enough. I just hope they can hit the ground running, because last time they were here (for an ODI series, I think) SL looked the better side. Personally, I'm looking forward to potentially a big series by Chandimal. If he was Australian, I doubt he'd even be a state player, because I don't know that we have the system that can successfully identify and nurture his ilk. And if I'm right, that deficiency is a crying shame. As for Mathews, he will probably be a fine captain, but he still has to, if he can, BOWL more! Sri Lanka need him taking wickets. Otherwise, he'll probably end up like Watson.

Posted by SLWATERBOY on (December 4, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

Some of you guys has to get your facts right. Mahela is not 36 years old right now. He is only 34. He will be 36 plus if he would play by 2015. Don't worry Mahela will leave at the right time. He will not hold on or block any of the younger players chances either. BUT Mahela will NOT LEAVE just like that IF he feels the Chandimal and CO is not ready to take the challenge.

Posted by Sageleaf on (December 4, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Mahela is one of the best captains SL ever produced. I was lucky to have a chat before his departure to Australia, at the CMB airport. I know Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan has done great service to SL cricket but when aging your reflexes become little slower, that the fact and no one could escape. You have to train even harder to maintain consistency. I love Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan but at the same time if they don't perform well I'm one of the guys who will criticize them openly. I know it's not fare because I don't play the game and its easier said and done. But it's time for SL to go on a different avenue and Angelo to lead the side after the Aussie tour. Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan can assess their options and play any format accordingly. SL needs to breed in young blood and challenge their capacity. I also strongly feel SL might record their first victory over Australia in Aussie land for the first time under Mahela. No one can under estimate the heart of a true champion like Mahela.

Posted by denwarlo70 on (December 4, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

Asking a series win down under is too far fetched. I want to see a test win, just one test win down under. We've proved ourselves in the shorter format down under sending home bigger opponent and overrated opponents in many triangular series played there, we need to win a test down under and as I said, I'm hoping that would be achieved in this series. Thank you from a SL cricket fan

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (December 4, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

Mahela's intention to retire to give opportunities to youngsters is appreciable. The test team has got 5 veteran players age over 34 years ( Dilshan,Samaraweera, Mahela, Sangakkara & Herath). Its not easy to groom youngsters to fill these voids straightaway. Iremember Mahela backed the decision to cancel some test matches next year to stengthen the financial status of SLC. This will definitely endanger the future of youngsters and SL cricket. I belive this would not be better than the post retirement era of MIGHTY West Indies after the retirement of Sir. VIV Richards/Andy Roberts/Malcolm Marshall/Desmond Haynes /Gordon Greenige etc.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

hey guys stop predicting the result its too early.I can feel bit lucky this time coz newly laid pitch on hobart most probably result will depend on luck.sydney bit help spinners and no test in perth,gabba so we will have chance to win a test .we clearly know sl players can be back to their normal performance levels within one match. So.....

Posted by ashangamage on (December 3, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

good move..but not only for mahela, like to see sanga ,dilishan, kallis,chandrapaul, also retire with more respect..

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Mahela should be concentrating on his retiremant.He is 36 years old right now.His performance has reduced through this year very clearly. When the next world cup is played he will be 39 years old. So players like Chandimal should be given more chances now. Jayawardane is blocking the oprtunaties for youngsters to perform.

Posted by 23061985 on (December 3, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

Thx to mahela,today we are in a gud position,please sir,reconsider about captaincy,we need your service more to srilanka.Thank you very much and also wish you all the best fr aussie tour

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Damn shame! The last player to play under Arjuna Ranatunga. With him, ends an era in Sri Lanka cricket

Posted by rayfanatics on (December 3, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

it is a given that Mahela is going to fail in Australia going by his overseas record. If he couldn't do it in his prime, he won't be making any headway now.The only men who are capable of drawing tests are Sangakkara and Samaraweera and they will find themselves under a lot of pressure because of the general inability of the other 4 top order players to perform. he less said about the bowling, the better. No disrespect to the Kiwis , but drawing with them and dreaming to beat Aus. Gimme a break. 3-0 to Oz.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

you must be our test captain play till 2015

Posted by ThirdRenegade on (December 3, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

Jayawardene has a lot of issues to manage because handling Australia in their backyard means you need good bowlers, batsmen & fit individuals. Plus SL are going there at the onset of the summer so weather could play a real part in shaping the wheat from the chaff. The form of Dilshan, Sangakkara, Samaraweera, Mathews, & Chandimal is going to be a concern for the visitors as unless they get into their straps quickly, the Aussie bowlers will dominate the series with the likes of Starc, Pattinson, Siddle & Hastings having proved themselves time & again! But SL have some firepower themselves with both the Nuwans Pradeep & Kulasekara promising. But Herath, Randiv & Dhananjeya will have to outperform their abilities if Sri Lanka are to dominate. Also seniors need to step on the gas & lead the young brigade unlike what India & Pakistan do. The new opener Karunaratne holds promise as does Lahiru Thirimanne who has done enough to warrant a Test spot

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Cricket will lose its charm Ricky Ponting, Now Mahela Jayawardene, Sachin Tendulkar soon, Kumar Sangakkara, recently Rahul Dravid .....Why are they retiring at the same time! But it is also true that one cannot play for eternity!

Posted by ShehanJ on (December 3, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

Mahela knows that his team will lose the test series and the ODIs to the Aussies. The only chance they have is in the two T20s. The only threat the Aussies will face is maybe from Rangana Herath. The Aussies played well in the first two tests against the South Africans, but faltered in the 3rd and final test. Playing against the Sri Lankans is going to be a walk in the park for Michael Clark and his team. Best of luck Aussies.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Lets hope our batting fires in Aus, and yes Mahela has a point, better for Mathews to get captaincy when he still has Mahela,Sanga and Dilshan around

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

Mahela like classy gentlemen are a rare breed in today's cricket. The world will miss him if he opts to retire.

Posted by chamil111 on (December 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Yeah.. you are 100% correct about hand over captancy to mathews. But you have to think seriously about your retirement plan. Because if you retired from all 3 formats at once that going to be upset whole team. Its better to follow pontings mathod in retirement. First he give up t20, after that odi and finaly test. Allso please give one opening slot, one down, two down to youngers and sanga and you go to no 5,6 spots and always use player roation policy to give youngesters chance. From mahela, sanga, dilshan always keep one player out and play two of you. Then we can give another young player a chance in team. Wish you all the best for your future and wish you all you guys for upcoming series.

Posted by DrSunilSharma on (December 3, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Sri Lankan team is remarkable for the multiple talented players they have in their arsenal Dilshan, Sanga, Angelo Mathews and Mahela Jayawardene who are all world class and there fast bowlers and spinners are also fantastic due to great attitude of all the captains Sri Lankan team had now and in the past who are all thinking on to help Sri Lankan cricket prosper year after year. Good luck to master batsman Mahela Jaywardene! Sunilism

Posted by KingOwl on (December 3, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

I agree with Ms.Cricket: Mahela seems to over analyze things. He is a very smart captain. But mentally, he is nothing like Arjuna Ranatunga. Arjuna was cool, tough and ruthless to the bone. Mahela just talks about being ruthless all the time. But the really ruthless people don't TALK about being ruthless. They just ARE. I have a feeling that Angelo will be the same type. Again, I think he will be a good, modern day captain saying all the right things, disciplined, hard working, etc. But I wish we had a strong leader of men, like Arjuna. Someone with more overt aggression and passion. A bit like Virat Kohli, but unlike Virat, needs to be cool too.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 3, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

You can do it Mahela... Sri Lankans can do it... It's immortality out there! Go get it!!!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

He is a great player. After him, a decent replacement for Sri Lanka team would be tough. All other reputable team members are not known to be consistent.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

what ever the decision that you going to have i know it will be the best one beacouse you are the best to read good players after arajuna

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 3, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Mahela Jayawardene is an over-thinker like Rahul Dravid. This ties them in knots mentally and is a drawback for the team though their batting talent is undeniable. Sri Lanka are far better off with a captain who can keep it simple rather than over-analyse like Mahela does.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Best captions words like non other. good stuff mayya. Can feel a big preformance ahead from the lions over the raining champions of 2007.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

nothing to worry sir.....keep hope things will happen....we all know your so good captain....sanga,youself.dilshan thilan.mathews can do it.....cheeers

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

test series 3-0 to ozzies...one day series 4-1 to ozzies.....

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

As stated before with this team of u three Dilshan,Sanga & yourself not performing there is no chance of beating Aus,thus hand over the Captancy rightaway and send Anji up the order,Dilshan down the order and see what happens.Give Chandimal some chances as hes very young.What a shame he was not given one match against NZ.This shows how poor Sri Lanket is at the moment.Mahela you have many more year with T20 & ODI,but Test Cricket is all over as seen with both fiddles in the last match.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 3, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

One practice match is not enough at all. All the players have no opportunity to get optimum practice before the Test matches. Same thing happened to New Zealand in Sri Lanka. They played test matches without a practice match.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 3, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Wish you all the best to beat Australia in a test on their home soil. It is extremely difficult, but i have an innocent hope that they will do it this time. "I have always said that I am not a guy who will just hang around for the sake of playing". We respect your attitude a lot.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

Too early for Jayawardane to think about his retirement. He has the talent as a batsman as well as to lead ...

Posted by Karnain on (December 3, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Mathews should be given the captaincy of the ODI team straight after the Australian tour

Posted by lukecannon on (December 3, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

Don't play as long as Jayasuriya and don't play for stats like Tendulkar. Mahela's an amazing cricketer already.Be content with what you have

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