Australia v Sri Lanka, CB series, Sydney February 18, 2012

Jayawardene happy with youngsters stepping up

39

Mahela Jayawardene is pleased Sri Lanka's turnaround in the triangular series has begun with youngsters stepping up. Thisara Perera, the promising allrounder who is slowly becoming a key member of the side, and Farveez Maharoof, who made yet another comeback in an in-and-out career, took four wickets for 47 runs between them, and broke the back of the Australian innings.

"These are the guys who are going to take Sri Lanka cricket into the future," Jayawardene said. "Hopefully we can build on that.

"I am a big fan of his [Maharoof's]. He has been playing some good cricket back home. Especially with two new balls, he is one of the guys who can give us something extra with the bat and the ball in different conditions. It's good to have him back. He felt really confident. He is an experienced player, he played in the 2007 World Cup as a 20-year-old."

Perera, a more regular member of the side than Maharoof, had earlier been dropped in Sri Lanka's second match of the tournament. In their big win against Australia, he contributed to two run-outs apart from taking two wickets. "Brilliant," Jayawardene said. "These are young guys who are coming through. They believe they belong here, which is great. The energy level they bring to the team is fantastic.

"He [Perera] is a fast-bowler-allrounder, who can field at any position, he is a good slip fielder as well. It's good to have this group of players we can work with for the future. Got other youngsters who are coming back from injury. We will get a bigger pool going forward. Exciting times as long as we keep working hard."

Apart from youngsters, Jayawardene was pleased Sri Lanka finally got a decent start to their innings. Jayawardene moved back to the opening role, dropping Upul Tharanga, and the captain and former captain put on 74 for the first wicket. "We needed a tactical change," Jayawardene said. "We were not getting starts upfront. Upul is a very good player. But unfortunately he is going through a bit of a period. We felt giving him a break will do him justice, freshen him up. I just jumped in straightaway.

"Lahiru is a middle-over batsman, he can fit anywhere. We just need to settle things upfront, make sure we get a good start, which we did today."

Jayawardene has seen good signs from Tillakaratne Dilshan. "Dilly plays his own game," Jayawardene said. "We never restricted him. He goes out there and plays naturally. He is a fantastic player to have. On the field he saves 20 runs. Even on a good wicket he can bowl five-six overs for you. A complete package. The way he batted today was beautiful. We just want to make him a free player so he can win matches for us. He has got three good starts now, hopefully he will get a big one next game."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cri.lk on February 20, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    hi.............we need see BHANUKA RAJAPAKSA as soon as well seletor ple bring him to national side >>upul tharanga is un form batsman....

  • TheGreatBCCI on February 20, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @Danufur, we dont know that your are the Cheif Selector of SLC and every body in this world cares your word. different people have different opinions. Sorrry LOL.. players of Perera class will not be picked up into International Team if he is from India, SA, Aus, NZ, ENG, PAK.. It happens only in Srilanka.. Sorry Again LOL

  • zapeta on February 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Jayawardene is very happy after winning one match in the Series and his comments are result of the miracle happened. Thisara Perera becomes Clueless if he is hit for 15 runs in a over and has lot of single digit scores to his name. Maharoof is again a in-out player with no consistency in bowling/batting through out his career. Thirimanne should be dropped and replaced by Tharanga the country's best opening Batsman after Jayasuriya. No complaints about Jwardene Opening skills but can't last for more years... Mathews should become captain ASAP. Srilanka need some good youngsters like Chandimal not like the Jayawardene List

  • on February 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    COME ON, dont play lahiru. His record in this series is like pointing's one. Single digits. pointing, former australian captain,13000+ run scorer is dropped for his performance in series. Lahiru did the same as pointing, has nothing under his belt, dont we have anyone else to play at 6/7?

  • gabrialgihan on February 20, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    @miles100 dude its nothing to do with that theres no worldcup winning captain have opened an innings if thats the spot mahela feels comfotable and getting runs he should bat there its good for us... and everything has a first time may be he can change stuff if he keeps captaincy till worldcup..such as mahela was the firstman to make century and be in the loosing side in a world cup final:-)

  • ghtvnath on February 20, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @Danufur - u hit the nail on the head of diehardcricketfan3. @lord.emsworth - very true about Tharanga.Its not that axing Tharanga what matters here.Its a good way to motivate players to keep them out of they fail.But using different kind of spoons is not good for the spirit of the team.

  • truthhh on February 20, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    hey Mahela Jayawardene show real colours t india.india could win WC, thanks goes to indian useless pitches;P,otherwise they can not t atleast super 4!we must win tomorrw game!we people all with you

  • truthhh on February 20, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    mahela jayawardene your a outstanding leader&your battin position at openin is great..upul tharanga is not suitable for opening,find a new hard hitting player for opening when you retire mahela!bez if we can get gud run score at first power play that should be easy for middle order batsman t score,that same thing did by aus past years..put same effort that u put last match aus vs sri on when you gonna play tomorrw match sri vs india..never underestimate indians,the thing is we have to put big effort to win this match&Lasith Malinga must concentrate on filding and bez of maling we could win many matches,gud work man,keep it up!!we can win tomorrw match in big way!!!!love u all guys,BRING IT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!BRING IT HOME

  • Lasom on February 19, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    diehardcricketfan3,

    so the best bowlers are pace less, seamless,& wicketless viney kumar?

    Thee are no attacking bowlers in India after Kapil Dev. Check the stats

  • miles100 on February 19, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    @ 3liteindia. If Mahela becomes the permanent opener, that'll be the disaster of the middle order of SL batting once again. He is doing this for a short time to rectify the top order issue.No world cup winning successful captains have ever opened the batting in the history.There is a good reason behind it. Even captain scoring 15-25 runs with about 30 to 40 balls in the middle order is so valuable when you are leading your batting team. Captain's presence in the middle order helps in so many different ways.Mahela will be back at No:5 once Tharanga or another player steps up as opener. I'm sure Mahela is fully aware of the fact that it is not easy for a youngster to play at no:5 as no:5 & 6 is a an experienced player's position.Yes a youngster can play at no:5 as long as that youngster has enough wisdom & take the responsibility to read the conditions in the middle including the bowlers & the turf & continue. There are thousands of highly talented opening batsmen in SL.

  • cri.lk on February 20, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    hi.............we need see BHANUKA RAJAPAKSA as soon as well seletor ple bring him to national side >>upul tharanga is un form batsman....

  • TheGreatBCCI on February 20, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @Danufur, we dont know that your are the Cheif Selector of SLC and every body in this world cares your word. different people have different opinions. Sorrry LOL.. players of Perera class will not be picked up into International Team if he is from India, SA, Aus, NZ, ENG, PAK.. It happens only in Srilanka.. Sorry Again LOL

  • zapeta on February 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Jayawardene is very happy after winning one match in the Series and his comments are result of the miracle happened. Thisara Perera becomes Clueless if he is hit for 15 runs in a over and has lot of single digit scores to his name. Maharoof is again a in-out player with no consistency in bowling/batting through out his career. Thirimanne should be dropped and replaced by Tharanga the country's best opening Batsman after Jayasuriya. No complaints about Jwardene Opening skills but can't last for more years... Mathews should become captain ASAP. Srilanka need some good youngsters like Chandimal not like the Jayawardene List

  • on February 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    COME ON, dont play lahiru. His record in this series is like pointing's one. Single digits. pointing, former australian captain,13000+ run scorer is dropped for his performance in series. Lahiru did the same as pointing, has nothing under his belt, dont we have anyone else to play at 6/7?

  • gabrialgihan on February 20, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    @miles100 dude its nothing to do with that theres no worldcup winning captain have opened an innings if thats the spot mahela feels comfotable and getting runs he should bat there its good for us... and everything has a first time may be he can change stuff if he keeps captaincy till worldcup..such as mahela was the firstman to make century and be in the loosing side in a world cup final:-)

  • ghtvnath on February 20, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @Danufur - u hit the nail on the head of diehardcricketfan3. @lord.emsworth - very true about Tharanga.Its not that axing Tharanga what matters here.Its a good way to motivate players to keep them out of they fail.But using different kind of spoons is not good for the spirit of the team.

  • truthhh on February 20, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    hey Mahela Jayawardene show real colours t india.india could win WC, thanks goes to indian useless pitches;P,otherwise they can not t atleast super 4!we must win tomorrw game!we people all with you

  • truthhh on February 20, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    mahela jayawardene your a outstanding leader&your battin position at openin is great..upul tharanga is not suitable for opening,find a new hard hitting player for opening when you retire mahela!bez if we can get gud run score at first power play that should be easy for middle order batsman t score,that same thing did by aus past years..put same effort that u put last match aus vs sri on when you gonna play tomorrw match sri vs india..never underestimate indians,the thing is we have to put big effort to win this match&Lasith Malinga must concentrate on filding and bez of maling we could win many matches,gud work man,keep it up!!we can win tomorrw match in big way!!!!love u all guys,BRING IT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!BRING IT HOME

  • Lasom on February 19, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    diehardcricketfan3,

    so the best bowlers are pace less, seamless,& wicketless viney kumar?

    Thee are no attacking bowlers in India after Kapil Dev. Check the stats

  • miles100 on February 19, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    @ 3liteindia. If Mahela becomes the permanent opener, that'll be the disaster of the middle order of SL batting once again. He is doing this for a short time to rectify the top order issue.No world cup winning successful captains have ever opened the batting in the history.There is a good reason behind it. Even captain scoring 15-25 runs with about 30 to 40 balls in the middle order is so valuable when you are leading your batting team. Captain's presence in the middle order helps in so many different ways.Mahela will be back at No:5 once Tharanga or another player steps up as opener. I'm sure Mahela is fully aware of the fact that it is not easy for a youngster to play at no:5 as no:5 & 6 is a an experienced player's position.Yes a youngster can play at no:5 as long as that youngster has enough wisdom & take the responsibility to read the conditions in the middle including the bowlers & the turf & continue. There are thousands of highly talented opening batsmen in SL.

  • on February 19, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Maha & Thisara are along with angelo to form a great alrounder squad for sri lanka. along with chandimal we are ina good position to have agreat future with grooming all those identified layers when they are in form. Specially we have see the future prospects as arjuna did. that is how mahela, marvan, sanga & all players came into picture. my gut feeling is bhanuka rajapaksha is a good prospect too but now not in form :). new captain know everything what team needs as he lead the team from year 2000. this is the best time to select the team with future lans. let's do it...

  • Danufur on February 19, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    @ diehardcricketfan3: Thank you very much for your valuable input on the fast bowlers from SL and the players in general. I'm sure that ICC and BCCSL will take immediate action to remove such players from the squad because YOU dislike them. Also I am quite certain that future team selections will be done only after each player has been screened by YOU and cleared only if YOU like them 100%.

    Oh wait... I just remembered. No one cares what YOU think. Sorry. LOL.

    But it was a great point that you put forward. No wait... It wasn't... Sorry again. LOL.

  • Shaun_wick on February 19, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @ diehardcricketfan3: I don't think whether you like SLan bowlers or not make any sense to anyone. If I talk about Indian team first, I m sorry to say very first, they are talent only in India. If they come overseas they are very ordinary team. If I compare SL and Ind team, I think SL team is much better team overseas. They got verity of balling attack and batting line up. I think SL team seems they are going to be a turf and strong team soon. They got few very talented new young players, like Chandimal and Anjelo. Aus team also in the building stage at the moment. but as we all know, in this tournment, SL and Aus team is much stronger teams comparing with Indian team.

  • on February 18, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    we needed a change and it's good that Mahela opened the batting,Upul Tharanga needs a smalll break and i am sure that he will come back with a bang.........right now we need to get into the winning groove.

  • on February 18, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    @ diehardcricketfan3: i think your comments about the SL bowlers may be both a little harsh and a little unvalid. They wouldnt be representing their country if they didnt have any pure talent, and they have the backing of a wise, knowledgable captain. And it doesnt matter what bowling actions they have, cause they are blessed to have that ability and skill within them. Sri Lanka is in a developing phase and making good progress under a new captain and these young guys are good now, but through experience and time they will become GREAT. I hope they prove you wrong in the upcoming matches :)

  • Sobat on February 18, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    I think mahela is right... things look better now and settling down.. we all know its not easy to come to Australia and play like home when u have to face 2 good teams and both of them was settled with the conditions and waiting for SL to knock them down.. but SL showed they dont need the time india wanted to settle down in Aus.

  • nishardfazna on February 18, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    this is the best playing 11 in this series so far.Tharanga is not Dropped sl just trying to find the right combination. Maharoof is a good player good bowler, good batsman too. he can bat in pressure situations and he can hit big hits. this is the right playing 11. if thirimanne will not scores runs in nexttwo games, then we can try tharanga at 5. thebn it will more balanced team

  • diehardcricketfan3 on February 18, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Perera is a lucky guy to be in international team. His batting is very average. He always swings the beat without seeing the ball. Luckily for him, the ball went in gaps for four or six. i have seen many shots from perera like that. drop him and add class players like jayawardene and sangakkara..

  • diehardcricketfan3 on February 18, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    I don't like srilankan fast bowlers... They are not talented. SL bowlers have very different bowling action compared to all other fast bowlers in the world. Because of this, they appear threat to all batsmen in the world. Look at the bowling action of malinga. I 100% dislike malinga because of his action. Other sl bowlers who have different action are mendis and muralitharan. Imagine sl team without malinga, they will appear very ordinary bowling team than india without malinga.

  • Kays789 on February 18, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    tharanga deserves an extended run. the guy's a good bat. three failures shouldnt push him out of the team for too long.

  • playitstraight on February 18, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Mahela should become a permnent opener for Sri Lanka in ODIs and Tests, that is the spot that he is the best at, not the no.4. Unfortunately, he himself doesn't realize that and keeps on making Tharanga open. Mahela and Upul should switch spots, it will be much better for the team.

  • Silvax2 on February 18, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    I Feel Sorry for Maha,He was really given the Step Motherly treatment.His last Game was against India in which he got a hattrick.It is always great to have a Great unbiased captain like Mahela identifying the talent,Mahela is will go down in the history as one of the Greatest Captains with class of hiw own

  • on February 18, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    cant believe the comments about Tharanga from other fans..Mahela , Sanga & Dilshan failed for 6 months...but its only 3 matches for Tharanga...He is the real opener & we need him in the team very soon

  • on February 18, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    We love our every Sri Lankan cricketers. They are our asset of the nation. Even during dreadful last 30year period they were real inspiration to our beautiful Island nation.Thanks guys.Jamal/Doha

  • on February 18, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    every one is talking about mahroof and tisara but i think rangana did a excellent job with ball,hope he will be a parmant member of odi team, hope malinga and maharuf can improve in the filed, and chandimal to bat no 3 and may be keep, its nice to see free flowing dili, and mahela, sad for taranga as he is one of the best openers for sir Lanka. hope we can repeat in India match,,,,,,,,,

  • ---lasitha--- on February 18, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    dont y'all think we lack experience in the middle, if mahela is to open we definitely need samaraweera at the midlle

  • KingOwl on February 18, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Future looks good. Go Lions!

  • on February 18, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    every cricketer has a day.yesterday it was the day for whole team.but our ratgama craftsman was bit unlucky.good luck with india. mahelas new cricketing gloves was so nice.never say die colour combination.dilly mr.brett lee was ruthless.that should be the way.keepitup.good luck.sanga there is no hurry at all.remember tthat U R THE one down batsman.maharoof it is agood come back.suduwella boys keep it up.

  • on February 18, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Probably the Best Srilankan Team in the CB Series...Great Lions..Keep Going!!! Chandimal is Awesome..Thissara is a Dasher...Mathews is a Match winner.. Mahroof is Back to Lions woth some Decent Bowling!!! We are With you Lions!!

  • Lord.emsworth on February 18, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    'What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander....' Mahela dropped brilliant ODI player Tharanga after 3 failures. He himself went on, and on, and on, with a record number of low scores without the silghtest twinge of conscience. There's dubble moral for you! Mahroof was great but he is an enigma. Great performances at times, useless at others.....in/out...In/out...

  • Sinhaya on February 18, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Future Sri Lankan XI (after Sanga and Mahela retire) will include Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senenayake, Sachithra Serasinghe, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep.

  • jonesy2 on February 18, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    absolute disgrace. every ball perera bowled was a wide. luck will run out

  • seantells on February 18, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    sinhaya knows too much cricket, mahroof is a must included player in ODI as well as T20, IPL he's one of the highest rated player at time,

  • IanJF on February 18, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Hes humility as a Leader shadows hes craftiness.. A cold blooded "Tactician".. He makes the other 10 players creep up on you without your knowledge.. Leadership comes from birth, it can never be taught.. Life can only fine-tune leadership, but it remains a trait in born-Leaders !

  • ajayrcs on February 18, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Just luck nothing else playing part for India & Lanka

  • johnathonjosephs on February 18, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Sri Lanka looks like they are on track to building a new team. Upul Tharanga has been associated with a great deal of records, but the problem with him is he is inconsistent. In other words, he either makes a big score or does nothing. If Mahela opens, we can put another promising young middle order in there (thirimanne may work, but I am really excited to see the promising Bhanuka Rajapakse). Perera is a decent person to have in the side, but his bowling is not great AT ALL. If he can work on his bowling, Perera would be worth his weight in gold due to his immense slogging abilities.

  • Sinhaya on February 18, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Great that Maharoof bowled well, but I am afraid with his inconsistency, he might get hit apart in the next game by the Indians. No doubt Lankans won convincingly and morale is high as the 2 losses were very very narrow. Great to see Dilshan and Mahela back in form indeed. Chandimal hopefully becomes the highest run scorer in this series.

  • SriLankanLuck on February 18, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Come on guys! get back ur damn team spirit!!!!!!!111

  • on February 18, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Maharoof effective for the two ball thing? hmm.. thats some new thinking.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 18, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Maharoof effective for the two ball thing? hmm.. thats some new thinking.

  • SriLankanLuck on February 18, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Come on guys! get back ur damn team spirit!!!!!!!111

  • Sinhaya on February 18, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Great that Maharoof bowled well, but I am afraid with his inconsistency, he might get hit apart in the next game by the Indians. No doubt Lankans won convincingly and morale is high as the 2 losses were very very narrow. Great to see Dilshan and Mahela back in form indeed. Chandimal hopefully becomes the highest run scorer in this series.

  • johnathonjosephs on February 18, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Sri Lanka looks like they are on track to building a new team. Upul Tharanga has been associated with a great deal of records, but the problem with him is he is inconsistent. In other words, he either makes a big score or does nothing. If Mahela opens, we can put another promising young middle order in there (thirimanne may work, but I am really excited to see the promising Bhanuka Rajapakse). Perera is a decent person to have in the side, but his bowling is not great AT ALL. If he can work on his bowling, Perera would be worth his weight in gold due to his immense slogging abilities.

  • ajayrcs on February 18, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Just luck nothing else playing part for India & Lanka

  • IanJF on February 18, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Hes humility as a Leader shadows hes craftiness.. A cold blooded "Tactician".. He makes the other 10 players creep up on you without your knowledge.. Leadership comes from birth, it can never be taught.. Life can only fine-tune leadership, but it remains a trait in born-Leaders !

  • seantells on February 18, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    sinhaya knows too much cricket, mahroof is a must included player in ODI as well as T20, IPL he's one of the highest rated player at time,

  • jonesy2 on February 18, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    absolute disgrace. every ball perera bowled was a wide. luck will run out

  • Sinhaya on February 18, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Future Sri Lankan XI (after Sanga and Mahela retire) will include Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senenayake, Sachithra Serasinghe, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep.

  • Lord.emsworth on February 18, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    'What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander....' Mahela dropped brilliant ODI player Tharanga after 3 failures. He himself went on, and on, and on, with a record number of low scores without the silghtest twinge of conscience. There's dubble moral for you! Mahroof was great but he is an enigma. Great performances at times, useless at others.....in/out...In/out...