Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney

Sri Lanka owe Jayawardene a send-off

During his two stints as Sri Lanka's captain, Mahela Jayawardene has not just had to marshal the team on the field but deal with endless politics off it

Andrew Fernando in Sydney

January 1, 2013

Comments: 66 | Text size: A | A

Peter Siddle got the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 1st day, December 26, 2012
It has been a difficult series for Mahela Jayawardene in Australia © Getty Images

Geoff Marsh had a brief but unhindered view into the workings of the Sri Lanka side, but after his sacking said it didn't take a head coach's insight to know everything there was know about the captaincy. "Every country needs to have its best captain," he began, "and the best captain in Sri Lanka is Mahela Jayawardene. I think everyone knows that."

Jayawardene is not the best player in Sri Lanka's ranks by some distance, nor is he its heart, its soul, its workhorse or its darling. He is the man who keeps things on an even keel. While Sri Lanka Cricket staggers from woe to unfathomable woe, stirring their whirlpool of turmoil ever-larger, Jayawardene has plucked the team out of a funk and kept its heart beating in his twelve months as leader.

He has shown no will to step away from Tests and is determined to have one more crack at a World Cup, but he is about to relinquish the reins, snug though they seem in his grip. Astute and assured at the helm, his side has owed him much in the past year, and if they can lift themselves out of Melbourne's mighty rut, they might repay him with the send-off his leadership deserves.

In many ways, Jayawardene has been Sri Lanka's best leader since Arjuna Ranatunga, and at times he has been peerless tactically, both among his nation's former captains and his contemporary rivals. His first stint as captain was defined by the bravado that his leadership was forged in. In his first Test at the helm, Sri Lanka were wiped out in two sessions in the first innings at Lord's, and were staring squarely at an innings loss until Jayawardene's 119 laid the foundation for a thrilling draw, and eventually, a shared series.

In the years that followed, Sri Lanka played a fearless brand of cricket, seeking safety through aggression, while wielding an attack whose colour became clout under Jayawardene's direction. Field placements were bold to the point of being experimental. Leg slip had almost left the game in the mid-2000s, but it has enjoyed a recent revival, thanks in large part to Jayawardene's canny employment of it to his spinners. Sustained success came too, and at one point, Sri Lanka were the second-ranked side in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s simultaneously.

His second stint in the captaincy has seen Jayawardene adopt a more cautious approach, but although he has drawn criticism, some of it fair, for this new conservatism, his assignment has also been much steeper this time. Devoid of so wild a talent as Muttiah Muralitharan, and having inherited a team verging on listless, Jayawardene has led the side to three Test victories and their first series win in three years, against Pakistan.

Worse even than on-field woes has been the board, whose financial disarray has sparked a series of short-term manoeuvres likely to detriment Sri Lanka's cricket in the long term, and as its recent public spat with Jayawardene suggested, has an ever-worsening relationship with its captains.

In many ways, Jayawardene has been Sri Lanka's best leader since Arjuna Ranatunga, and at times he has been peerless tactically, both among his nation's former captains and his contemporary rivals

At a glance Jayawardene's decision to step down now is as puzzling as his choice to give up the captaincy in 2009. In his first tenure, Jayawardene had led the side to five Test series wins out of nine including victories against England and India, with three of those series drawn. In addition Sri Lanka had also progressed to their first World Cup final in 11 years and won the Asia Cup in 2008.

Yet, seemingly at the peak of his career and captaincy, Jayawardene passed the helm to Kumar Sangakkara, who could stand no more than two years of it himself. In most teams, leadership is an honour that is aspired to, but in Sri Lanka the well-suited men who have held the captaincy have treated and spoken about the post like flogging that must be endured with gritted teeth for the greater good.

That Jayawardene defended the board's decision to postpone three Tests against South Africa, effectively to allow the Sri Lanka Premier League to be played, also shows no shortage of diplomacy on his part. He has little to gain from the SLPL, but has been one of its most voracious advocates since the end of its first season, while the postponed Tests would have offered a chance to pit himself against the best side in the world, whom he has built an impressive home record against in the past.

Yet he finds his confidential letters to the board splayed in the press, and then warned of a reprimand, when he states he has lost confidence in a body who treats its captains thus.

He is about to play his final Test as captain now, and Jayawardene says it is because he hopes to guide his young successor in his first stretch of leadership. Angelo Mathews has the temperament of a leader and has had impressive brushes with captaincy, but to move from leading an SLPL side to becoming Sri Lanka's captain in all forms is like taking on Tolstoy, having only read comic books.

Beyond performance, strategy, motivation and man-management, Mathews will also need to be versed in politics and fire-fighting if he is to last long in the job, and he will do well to learn what he can from Jayawardene, for as long as he is around.

Shaking a side out of their gloom after a loss as deflating as Melbourne's will be a stiff task, even for a man as respected by his players as Jayawardene, particularly as they lack their best batsman and two of their better fast bowlers. But if this inexperienced team can muster a fight, they might give deserving captain a final Test to remember.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by tallgrass on (January 4, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Mahela is a good captain...but not the type of skipper Sri Lanka needs. His principles are in question. Firstly it was wrong for him to commend SLC's decision to cut off Tests. If he was passionate about Sri Lankan cricket and its future he should have spoken out against it. Secondly he has prioritized the IPL over playing for his country a number of times. Thirdly he grumbles way too much for a leader of country known for resilience and fight - IF he has a problem with SLC or selectors he needs to boycott in protest (like Arjuna did when Aravinda was left out). In Sri Lanka you need a one man army to get anything done!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

Just looked at Angelo Matthews stats. Is he in the test team as a batsman or as a bowler ? Seems pretty mediocre in either disciplines in tests (not ODI). Now they are making him a captain too!! Hopefully he will improve with responsibility.

Posted by Thushaa on (January 3, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

Nice article done..But I think mahela's time is up..Actually he has made a good call by stepping-down. As he will only stop the progress of SL cricket, as there is some politics coming up withing the team. As there was lot of talk about Maheela cutting down some seniors at his time.. The only good thing that can be done now ,is to retire gracefully..Mahela is a good tactical person..! Yes that can be said many times.But only tactics will not win games, THE BIG GAMES. And that has shown many times with his captaincy. We need to see progress in cricket, and the way to progress is to evolve. Captions are born.. NOT MADE.

Posted by Viraj_Hewage on (January 3, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

Mahela has been a good servent of Sri Lankan cricket. An opinion about cricket captaincy is available at

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

still remember his innings against India in wc 2011 final...

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

fully agree with " Lord.emsworth" , there are some of young talent in SL still waiting , but they are highly under rated by selection board. to become a star player , they should given a start and confident of fair chances ....

Posted by SINGHA2020 on (January 2, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

I believe that Sri Lanka Cricket will continue to need Mahela, Kumar and Dilshan on the field, for a few more years, to support Angelo, as Sri Lanka enters a very difficult phase of "Team Building". With the exception of Chandimal and Herath very few of the youngsters have shown the required temperament to impress as Test Cricketers! Let us hope that the Players are allowed the freedom to deliver the goods, without any unnecessary external interferences. SINGHA POWER FOR EVER!

Posted by d1n0 on (January 2, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

The way SL has been playing the only send off Mahela will get is from the Aussie attack that has been decimating our batting lineup. No doubting Mahela's talents as a Captain and as a Batsmen. Although he and many more to come may have to live in Arjuna's shadow, He did bring about and foster a culture of professionalism in our players. He also came into the team with greats like Murali and Sanath on the verge of retiring, yet he was able to maintain a high level of competitiveness in the team. While he is at the helm we were always contenders in any tournament! Hope Matthews will learn from a true professional.

Posted by perl57 on (January 2, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

S'kkara was a shrewd leader but politics could not back him up. J'dene is a good leader but he did not resign from all forms of game. Why do you need to give him a send off?

Posted by hnlns on (January 2, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

I think Sydney would offer them the best chance to give a fitting farewell to MJ, it is the most subcontinental type of pitch one would hope to get in Oz land. Just that SL need to fire together as a team rather than flashes of individual brilliance.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Alexk400 on (January 02 2013, 04:34 AM GMT) completely agree with you regarding the comparison between dhoni and jayawardene.Jayawardene is master tactician while dhoni does not even come close to it.But for dhoni,more than luck,he had a team who could convert all his not so good decisions into victory as they were firing in a group,as a team.But now when the the entire team is floundering together his bad decisions are being exposed to everyone,which were evident even earlier but just that no one cared as India was winning as a result of having a good team firing consistently between 2007 & 2011.India won the 2011WC DESPITE Dhoni's captaincy.Enough said.And regarding dhoni always having scapegoats in mind,absolutely spot on mate,Dhoni is a politician more than a National Cricket Team's Captain.

Posted by SickofSLcricket on (January 2, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

All we need to do is give chance for younger players age 21+ not wait till they turn 28 then give them a chance .

Posted by SickofSLcricket on (January 2, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

Not sure we owe him anything after loosing 2 one day world cup finals and two T20 finals. when are we going to WIN because we are good not because we get lucky ???

Posted by chamilrohana on (January 2, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

An another example of how badly effects to a player or a team when the politics enters in the sport and when the players counter attacks with the politics. What mahela must understand is the fact that NO ONE can counter attacks niether go against this disgusting politics. But being the great skilled captain of SL all time, Mahela showed how capable he is dealing with different pressure situations in and off the field.. I may also quite agree with the comments made by "Sulaimaan91" in the case of leagues where they are earning lots of money out of it. Yet, they earn them by their own dedication and commitments. How ever, Mahela was fascinating in the field giving LION's roars to the oppositions for which any super team may think twice before expediting any plans. Cheers Mahela......

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

Mahela has been one of the best captains in the world and certainly one of the best in Sri Lanka, but i dont think you can even compare him to Arjuna. Arjuna took a team that was un heard of and ridiculed like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe and turned them into unbeatable world champions that dominated cricket for next 2 years from 1996- 1998. So no one has done what Arjuna did as yet. Also the manner in which Arjuna conducted himself in Australia on one of the toughest tours we endured is truly unforgettable. Mahela lacks that no nonsense/Hitler sought of attitude a captain like Ponting or Arjuna. That brings you world cups! I feel for Mahela and Sanga because they are emplyed infamous SLC. U cant blame them for been fed up and angry at their employers because all the SLC has done is ruined Sri Lankan cricket. The only country in the world that requires the national team to be selected by a politician who can't even select 11 players correctly for a school side let alone the national side.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (January 2, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

This is really pretentious; a good captain either bats well like Ricky Ponting or bowl well like Bob Willis or do both like Imran Khan. Mahela bats so badly whenever Sri Lanka needs a solid contribution when playing in Aus or SA. If Mahela bats with grit others too will follow suit but he makes the whole line up wobbly by getting out time after time for low scores. Don't brag about Mahela's captaincy; its nothing.

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (January 2, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Mahela has no one but himself to blame for the endless political interference in SL cricket.He is the one who started it off for his own gains and is paying the price now.

As a fan, I have great admiration for the cricket that Sanga and Mahela played but other than that I dont think they have done anything great for SL cricket.They would never come close to Arjuna/Aravinda and the rest.

Mahela and Sanga have been able to build a great image of themselves by having excellent PR skills,good English speaking abilities...etc.

The 2011 tour to England revealed the true nature of Mahela and Sanga. Even Dilshan, who I personally feel has collectively done more for SL than these two, left the IPL early to Eng but Sanga and Mahela remained behind and joined the tour without any proper preparation.

If anything has to be done, its Mahela who needs to do something special.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Mahela scored 517 runs in 2011 (ave. 24.61) and 630 runs in 2012 (ave. 35). He is more like a weak link, MS Dhoni for SL than flat track bully or good captain. His place should not be guaranteed as a captain if he does not perform well. I don;t think he will not be able to score runs at an average of 50 in 2013 and 2014 at the end of his career.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Chris Broad listen to "sobersfan" Galle pitch is a flat track :P , looks like we have a strong case against Broad now LOL ,SLC wouldn't mind more cricket fans like sobersfan :P

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

By all the means i say that only thing which lacked in Mahela was luck! I have never seen such a keen, skillful leader in my life not only in cricket but in any sport. Also he is one of the greatest right handed batsmen that Sri Lanka has ever produced. No one can keep any doubt in his leadership skills. He always lead his side by the example and always stood with his team at any occasion and bared the responsibility in any result they had achieved, unlike some captains who used to have tons of excuses for their failures. But his fate had always been cruel to him. Not only him, whoever tries to arose their voices against injustice gloom around countries like ours, receives the same fate as this. But anyone who is a cricket fan, a person who respects the name of cricket mostly a Sri Lankan cannot simply forget the name Mahela Jayawardene. He is a legend and will continue until the Sri Lankan cricket lasts.

Posted by mysay on (January 2, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

Mahela is the best captain SL have had. far better than Arajuna. Sure he won SL the WC, but with the talent Arajuna had around him, he should have been shot if he lost it. Unfortunately that is what this SL team lacks. However average players become the games greats by experience as well. It takes talent quite as much too and maybe they have it, but unable to exploit it. So SL will have a slump which is understandable given the team, however a new leader coming through with more young blood, they will surely have the fighting spirit, which somestimes is all that's needed to topple them greats. Well done Mahela you were a man with not many words, but your bat and attitude did all the talking. Good luck to you Mathews, may you prove them pundits and self wrong, and show that SL has only one way to go, which is up.

Posted by lancia71 on (January 2, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Tactically MJ might be better than Arjuna. I wouldn't call him a flat track bully but he can't be bracketed with Aravinda or Sanga. He has been over hyped a bit by the media. But not to the extent of some Indian batsman have been.

Posted by Dr.Lakson on (January 2, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Mahela is a great captain and a very talented batsmen. I think his numbers do not justify his talent. He should take the responsibility for not having a good numbers. I think compared to Sanga he does not use his analytically mind a work ethic towards improving/adopting his batting skills to suit the situations. With respect to his captaincy the lack of trophies is simply down to the lack of professional Psychological training for the team!. The SLC should seriously consider this1

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

@sobersfan All good batsmen are flat track bullies Any good batsman would have scored runs in good batting wickets and a few gritty innings in good bowling wickets. Its the norm. There is no batsman who scores a majority of his runs on good bowling wickets as apposed to making a majority in good batting wickets.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

Mahela has undoubtedly been one of the best players, captains we have ever had. Unfortunately we live in times when money and IPL in particular has got the better of the game. None of our players and indeed none of the players from other countries give 100% for their countries anymore. When it comes to IPL they give 300%. I did say IPL will destroy international cricket. That is exactly what has happened. What on earth is up with SL team. They have reached so many World cup finals but just fail to go all the way. Surely money does not play a part in that does it?

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (January 2, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Alexk400 big diffrence between jaya vardaqne and dhoni is....dhoni accepts defeat after the match..but jayavardane or sangakara accepts defeat even before the match..just see the body langvage of jayavardane..never look he come australia to win match..

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (January 2, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

jayawardene is a flat track bully...he scored all his runs on flat pitches...

Posted by landl47 on (January 2, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

Mahela didn't want the captaincy the second time around and only took it through loyalty to his country- loyalty which was poorly repaid by the SL board. The next few years are going to be difficult for SL, with their great batsmen retiring, the bowling not looking good enough and few young players of class coming through.

@Prabhash1985: Sri Lanka do need a good batting side to win the world cup, but their bowling will also have to be much better. So the only two things they will have to improve to win the world cup are their batting and bowling.

Although the fielding isn't that great......

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Mahela Jayawardene has been a breve captain who has set examples not only for Sri Lanka but also entire cricket world. All the Best Great leader

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 2, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Jaywardene is 100 times better than dhoni on any day. But you need luck. Even if you do have greatest captain even you still need luck. Dhoni has truck load of luck. All dhoni's decision and results were 100% fluke. Dhoni does one thing well better than Jayawardene , Dhoni is cool even losses mount. His brain tells him who is his next scapegoat. Before it was dravid , VVS laxman. Now sehwag. Then next is fgambhir , Then he will point kohli. Endless excuses is dhoni. Jaywardene is a master mind. Sangakara may be more clever than jayawardene in some point but sanga kinda nasty type in that he go even low level like aussies does to win. cheating is included in sanga methods. Sanga does many fake appeal hoping umpire makes a mistake and give favorable decision. I can't find any fault in Jayawardene methods. if he had even small amount of luck he would have won 2 ODI world cup and could have been number 1 team.

Posted by Rock_cricket on (January 2, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

As an Indian , I love to watch his batting , and as most of the fans said he is a really good leader..

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 2, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

What we lack to win a world cup is a strong batting lineup which is capable of handing both spin and seam/swing bowling. If we can do that, we will lift the world cup again.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 3:37 GMT)

@Cruchtime1, perhaps Andrew was a little unclear. I think he meant Mahela is not the country's best ever player by quite a margin, which is a fair statement. Murali, Vaas, Sanga, Aravinda and Arjuna were far bigger match winners, more consistent and more valuable outside of Sri Lanka. Mahela outside of SL is similar to many of the players in the current SL team, and not worthy of any special mention

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

I would say he is the best captain that Sri Lanka produced, only failing to win a World cup!!!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

By far Mahela is the best captain SL ever produced. There is absolutely no doubt about it. In fact, had off the field politics not hampered him, he could have done a lot better.

He very well deserves a decent send off. But knowing the cronies in SLC and those behind the scene, I am not sure if he gets that.

Anyway, Mahela you are true leader, a true patriot and wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.

PS - I think you should re-think about playing in SLPL and other domestic competitions and even for Sri Lanka anymore.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 2:59 GMT)

Its definitely Murali, the best player in the sri lanka history

Posted by Crunchtime1 on (January 2, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

"Jayawardene is not he best player in sri lanka's ranks by some distance"..?? I defy you tell me who is above Jayawardenes' standing in the current team (apart from possibly Sanga).... mathews? samarweera? or maybe perhaps kapugedera....

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

I hope SL will put up a good fight. Now Mr Cricket is also retiring after this test it will be difficult to beat Australians. Australian public has been robbed, in two years in sucession, of quality cricket during their holiday and festive season. It was the same with India last year. We can now understand the reason for CA reluctance to giving boxing day slots to Asian teams. Good luck to Mahela and Mr Cricket. It is time for Dilshan, Chandimal and Thirimanne to stand up and fight.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (January 2, 2013, 0:54 GMT)

Mahela Jayawardene is a flat track specialist and a very confused captain that has cost Sri Lanka many wins. He complicates simple things. His permanent departure will benefit Sri Lanakn cricket. Mind you angelo Mattews does not seem to have the maturity yet to lead in Tests. Perhaps Samaweera or Herath as Test captain and Mattews for ODI/T20 may be the best way forward.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Mahela is a treat to watch in subcontinent and his records speaks for itself. In Australia and SA, his batting record is pathetic. He has scored more than 75% of his 100s in SL.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 0:18 GMT)

first fall change the coach,then put some use full coach. this track is Aussies, they make the all track is favor. mahela is on of the best captain in the world. don't judge less then any captain. mahila keep up ur form, and god bless....

Posted by x-sl-boy on (January 1, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

Don't think AM is ready or mature enough as next captain of SL as yet. As everyone says MJ is a fine player and one of the greatest captains and he is within a period where every batsman has a down time in their lives just like Ricky Ponting last year. I don't like the theory that the captain gets the blame at the end of a poor result. It is just lack of concentration of each individual player including all senior ones and stupid way of test cricket. Number of them are at least half a million droller players at IPL auction and are soooo T20 style players now which just doesn't with test cricket, unless they adapt their mindset to different formats of the game just like Mr Cricket.

Posted by xChaos on (January 1, 2013, 22:43 GMT)

I had a chance to meat Mahela... Very polite

Posted by TYJAY on (January 1, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

This guys time is over. He can't even score a double digit score. Why he is there ??? He is blocking a potential up coming young player. He is tested IPL money and that about it. He is instrumental of cancelling or postponing SL test matches.

I would kick him out immediately. He lacks leadership qualities too.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

sri lanka cricket always involved with politics from the beginning. i remember how we raised '96 after banning aravinda for no reason in 1994. mahela had the same time with these nuts. he has shown the character . a very rare talent friendly player .any one who was under him was protected. with missing 4 major guys doubt what we can do. but we are a team who raise from no where. mahela you are a true it man... all the best ....

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

Brilliant piece Andrew. Leading a side like SL is all in itself a huge task and MJ did so very well during his captaincy. I don't expect this side to win in Aussie land this time, but hope they don't embarrass their captain falling cheaply to another innings defeat.

As far as Angelo is concerned, indeed leading a national team with all the corruption and politics around, isn't going to be any easier. Tough times ahead.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

LOL @Osman the Galle pitch curator will be soo happy about your comment , but i'm afraid that Chris Broad will call you a " dangerous man " .if you know what i mean :P

Posted by Yasassri on (January 1, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

he has a techniques to overcome any bowling attank. he should be focus on nothing other other than specially batting.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 1, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

It will be a disastrous sending off if he loses the Sydney Test;hopefully he will come out with a masterful innings to carve out a niche in the Sri Lankan cricketing annals which he richly deserves.I do think if two wickets go down cheaply ,Mathew or Samaraweera should come ahead of him if he wants to avoid a repetition. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

mahela is very good captain in the world

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Mahela is a shrewd captain for Sri.Lanka.


Posted by kc69 on (January 1, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Well i don't know much about past captains of SL cricket.But i can say "a captain is as good as his team" and in this context Mahela Jaywardene should be blamed just for his poor batting not his captaincy.They need someone(Would be great if its Mahela himself) to step up for 3rd test.But i personally see a very less chance of SL bouncing back.

Posted by Rajan1968 on (January 1, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Mahela no doubt is a good player and a good captain. But now the time has come and Mathews have to takeover. SL has to believe that Mathews can do the job, as he had shown maturity in several instances.


Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

great captain.....flat track bully as a batsman

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

Mahela is fail as a Batsman now. Only reson,he is in the team is his captaincy..Soon after he gave up the captaincy he will have to work hard to secuire his place in the team...I strongly beleive that Mahela now should be concentrating about his retiremant.

Posted by SSJG on (January 1, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

In my opinion AR is the best captain considering all aspects, however has a big ego! MJ is the next best and the unluckiest of them all and may be as a result of that and administrative pressure lack the opportunity to serve better! There is no argument on his talent but better support from all others and a little bit of luck is what was lacking all this time! Test Win in Aus is just a fairytale which haunts like a nightmare! It is too early to comment on AM but his actions keeps creating doubts as to his capabilities as a captain! Time will tell. SL Cricket is like a dieing animal struggling to live.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

mahela is the best captain for ever,,,we need mahela to stay as a captain for sri lanka,,,every player sometimes there performance is poor sometimes there performence is good,,so in cricket life for my knowledge its normal,,,but me as a fan for mahela,,my choice is his the one of the best captain for sri lanka now n in d future,,,coz he has done a lot for the team,,,SO LET HIM STAY,,,cheers mahela,,,

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

SL should brush up the bowling department if they need a real battle against AUS. Also, the hopeful batters are leaving the ground for zeros or lower runs. AUS are filled with a tough bowling and batting sides. Johnson an excellant bowler scores runs too for his side. Why SL can't?????

Posted by vallavarayar on (January 1, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

Ultimately, Mahela owes himself a passably good score. Sri Lanka owes him precious little. The players should always be lesser than the team and the pride of playing for the flag.

Posted by Sugath on (January 1, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

My crystal ball tells me that just as Sri Lanka did against South Africa at the beginning of 2012 where they bounced back after a worse defeat than on boxing day to win the second test, Lankans will do likewise and make the series 2-1. For that they have to go with both spinners and have only Eranga and Mathews for the new ball and 7 batsmen including Chandimal. Then a sure win will be for the Lankans come 3rd to 7th January

Posted by KingOwl on (January 1, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

I hope SL give a good fight. I think even with a full team, it is a big fight in Aus. But without the best batsman, possibly the wicket keeper (one of the best in the business, if not the best), and the main strike bowler, it will be a huge task. Perhaps expectations will be very low, and that might help the team. At least, I hope so! SL are certainly much better than what we saw in Test #2.

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