'I was very disappointed with our batting' - Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene said that it was time his team showed some character and gave Australia some of its own medicine.
"We've been pushed to the wall now. Where else can we go but push them back. The next two days are very crucial for us to show some of the character that we have spoken of," said Jayawardene after scoring his maiden Test century against Australia on the third day of the second Test at Hobart.
"We spoke a lot about finding within us to beat this team but unfortunately we still haven't got that. That hunger for victory and success we need bring that out in ourselves."
Jayawardene was of the opinion that if you spend some time in the middle, as he did, runs would come. Some of Sri Lanka's top-order batsmen got out playing loose shots before assessing the pitch which led to them being dismissed for 246 - 296 runs behind Australia in the first innings.
Jayawardene scored 104 of those runs getting to his hundred with the help of the tailenders after his top order batsmen had deserted him leaving him the lone man standing defying Australia.
"It was important for me to spend some time there in the initial period and get to a position where I could get something out of it," Jayawardene said. "Mixed feelings, though, since it wasn't a very good day for us overall. I was very disappointed with our batting today, we need to show a bit more character I guess."
He rated his hundred among the top of the 19 he had scored in his career because "it was tough and that I hadn't scored one against Australia before. Australia is a very good attack. They kept asking questions and I was a bit lucky at times as I got beaten. It's a very good wicket to bat on if you bat through the initial period to get used to the pace of it and then graft your runs.
"I was very slow, I wanted to make sure I didn't make many mistakes upfront and once I got into that position and got 70 runs with the seventh wicket down, I thought we need to push for more runs. I was the only person who could have done that. I took a few more risks and managed to get a few more boundaries going my way. That momentum carried me to the hundred. If you give yourself time to settle down you have a good chance of scoring a big one."
Jayawardene will be hoping that his responsible knock would rub on the rest of the team members when they set out to bat in the second innings some time tomorrow. "We need to show a bit more belief in our ability. As soon as you go [to the middle] is where you are most vulnerable against this attack."