Sri Lanka in England 2014 June 2, 2014

Will assess Test future one tour at a time - Jayawardene


Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene has said he will assess his Test future on a series by series basis and will continue as long as he is satisfied with the way he is contributing to the team. Jayawardene, 37, is currently on tour in England and he said this will probably be his last Test tour to the country.

"I am taking it one tour at a time and assessing myself. Personally, I don't think I need to prove anything to anyone so it's about me challenging myself and seeing whether I can keep improving and most importantly, contribute to the team," Jayawardene said. "Once you get to this stage in your career it's important that you leave at the right time, in the sense not too early and not too late. When it would be the right time, I don't know but I will make sure I keep an eye on things and see how my body feels and how I enjoy playing cricket.

"The series against Pakistan (in the UAE) I had a good outing away from home and batted really well and we managed to win a Test match. If I can make that kind of impact and contribute I may continue a bit longer."

Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's most experienced players and team-mates for 14 years both retired from T20s after the recent World T20 in Bangladesh. Jayawardene was non-committal about his ODI future as well, but said the 2015 World Cup will be his last major limited-overs tournament.

"T20s, I knew that there was no point in me and Kumar continuing. We can't play another World T20, we are too old for that. So we made the call at the right time. If we can make those calls at the appropriate time, that will be great but I honestly don't know when that's going to be.

"Realistically the 2015 World Cup will be my last in 50-over cricket. I've spoken to the selectors about it. I've been blessed to play so many years for the country and in so many World Cups. If I am fit and performing well I'll be in the 2015 World Cup squad. There are no certainties that I will be there, it will depend on my performances."

The current England tour is Jayawardene's fifth, having first toured as a 21-year-old under Arjuna Ranatunga's captaincy in 1998 and been part of the Sri Lanka team that won a Test match on English soil for the first time.

"It will probably be the last time I am touring England but it will be like any other tour I've been on, wanting to prove myself. I haven't put any pressure on myself. I haven't really thought it like that (going off on a high note) because that would probably put more pressure on me."

Following Sri Lanka's successful season, having won the Asia Cup and the World T20, Jayawardene said the focus is on improving the team's away record and seniors like himself would have to lead the way.

"Away from home I always try to challenge myself. That's where we as a team need to improve. That is where experienced players need to pull something out of the bag. I've said that on this tour, we need to do something special and we've spoken to the boys about it. If we can really push ourselves and get something done, that will be great," he said.

"We have won ODI series in England so winning a Test series will be great. It's a two-match series so I don't know how much we can achieve from that. We have won Test matches in England but not won a series. So rather than talk about the series, we will try and see whether we can win a Test match here again, which will be great. To do that, we need to play better cricket from the start, especially the batting side of it. It's early part of the summer and we would like everyone to get used to the conditions."

Jayawardene said playing in England is unique, in that the conditions aren't necessarily uniform across the country.

"In Australia and South Africa you probably get similar conditions, but England presents you with a unique sort of challenge. The weather is one thing but at the same time you need to adapt to the different surfaces from county to county. You saw how we played in the cooler conditions in Durham and Manchester. It's tough but that's what cricket is all about."

Jayawardene and Sangakkara have different styles in terms of batting. While Jayawardene is a player by instinct and makes batting look easy, Sangakkara is an accumulator. And Jayawardene realises that they need to maintain their individual identities.

"Kumar has a more methodical way of looking at things. He is more technical in what he does and that works for him. I have played in a much different way from my school days and I haven't changed that attitude. I work hard at my game, the areas which I need to work on but I manage to keep my natural instincts going for me all the time. That's why I've achieved so many things over the years. I don't want to go away from that.

"It's always an identity that individual players should have. Whatever feels comfortable for you, you just go out and try to give the best out there. That's how I grew up and that's probably the difference. Kumar started off in a different way and he realised he needed to change his game towards international cricket. He's worked really hard at it and he's done really well."

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  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    Your latest point is when Mahela joined the team Mahela was not a significant charactor to the team as Arjuna,Aravinda, Sanath and Kalu were playing to the team. But if you check you will see Mahela has started his careeer in 1998 and Arjuna and Mahanama had finished their career in 1999. So Mahela could suddenly get a significant place in the team..Mahela opened few innings as an operner and he could score runs at better average but he couldnt turn those runs to the victories. But when we analyzed Sanath's career, he played his first ODI in 1989 where Arjuna, Aravinda, Mahanama, Gurusinghe,and Hashan were plying important role in the team. So Sanath was not a significat character when he joined the team and he had to bat at around number Six and Seven down the list till 1994.So During first 6 years of his career his average was bellow 17 as he was not given a significant place in the team. His first six years' Average has influenced to limit his career average to 33.

  • Logic on June 8, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Romesh, As I said earlier the game is such that the u have to see the stats in the right context. When Mahela started in 1997 for several years he was pretty much an insignificant youngster in a world cup winning team (Sanath, Kalu, Arjuna, Aravinda, Vaas, Murali etc. were there to win awards) If you look at Arjuna & Aravinda u cants say the same - an upcoming side with two star players they were bound to win awards (not undermining their achievement in anyway, if not for them and all the other past SL cricketers we won't be chatting about Sanath or Mahela today ). Virat is a class act and in my opinion is unmatched at this stage (only time will tell if he'll be consistent) If you look at hs stats (avg.52!) you'll see that's way better than even Sanga! If he is consistent and plays the same nbr of matches as Sana he will surely have more awards. If he opens the innings (hopefully not for our sake) and if he's good at it thn we'll hav a hard time countng the nmbr of awrds this guy gets!

  • Logic on June 7, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    Hi Romesh, Interesting stats borrowed from Andrews latest article (link below). Mahela surprisingly averages 44.76 when opening the innings and has a strike rate of 90! A better avg. than Sanath/Sanga and a strike rate similar to Sanath?? Even with the stats I will still stick with my logoic that stats cannot easily be compared as there are so many variables involved… Why? 'cause cricket is a sport its not a science experiment.. cheers

  • Dummy4 on June 5, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @Logic2014, If you think number 4 batsman doesn't have enough opportunity to score or perform like number one and two batsman how Aravinda has WON 30 player of the match awards while Mahela has just 19.How Arjuna has WON 24 Awards batting at number 5 and SIX. That's why Mahela is said HIGHLY OVERATED batsman than his actual stats.

    Another example, Virath Koli plays at same position for India. Playing just 134 odi matches he has 19 ODI centuries while Mahela playing 417 matches has scored only 16. Why this much of BIG difference?Koli has 18 player of the match awards just 134 matches, Mahela has 19 awards from 417 Mahela is highly overrated batsman than his actual performance..

  • Logic on June 5, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    Interesting stats! Personally I feel that you can't compare stats of an opening batsman who has the opportunity to face 50 overs (with minimum pressure)to a person who's batting at number 4 or 5. Imagine a scenario where either Sanath or Sanga gets 50 /100 runs, would you still expect Mahela to be the man of the match at the end of the day! or get another 100 runs with less than 20 overs to go in the innings.

    As far as I know his main role in the team is to rebuild the innings and keep the scoreboard ticking during the middle overs when the spinners come in. If I remember right most of his man of the match awards came when SL batting order collapsed like a stack of cards and not when he whacked every other ball for a four or a six during the first 15 overs (when the field was up!). In my opinion as long as he's able to do his role right then he should be in the side if not he should be out.

  • Dummy4 on June 4, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    very interesting stat from romesh above.mahela might have to look at that.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    Mahela is one of the greatest cricketers in the world at the moment. he has great knowledge about cricket. I think mahel's odi from wasn't good at this moment. so mahela should think abt his odi career. He should play test cricket another 2 or 3 years. Because our test record became much poor after the retirement of murali. Bass and malinga . Now our wining power is batting. my thought is he should retired from ODi and ply test cricket as long as he can.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Different people has introduced different players as greatest ODI cricketer in Sri Lankan cricket history. Bellow statics will justify being the greatest ODI cricketer.

    first consider Man of the Match Awards,

    sanath has 48 Awards,Aravinda 30 , Sanga 26, Ranatunga 24 ,Dilshan 19, Mahela 19

    Player of the series awards, Sanath 11, Dilshan 5 ,Sangakkara 5,Mahela 4

    Centuries, Sanath 28, Sanga 19,Dilshan 17,Mahela 16, According to the stats Sanath is the greatest ODI cricketer, Mahela is highly OVERATED than his actual records, Sanga deserve for Second and Aravinda/Dilshan are at 3rd place, Mahela can be ranked after Arjuna for 5th place.

    World records still hold by Sanath, Fastest 50, Fastest 150, one and only TWO consecutive 150s ever in ODI cricket history, Sanath held records, Fastest 100, Most runs in an over, Most sixes in an inning, second most Centuries in the world after Tendulkar and second in the world for Most player of the match awards.

  • Logic on June 3, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    His recent form has been patchy in ODIs but I agree with him when he says he doesn't have to prove anything! In my opinion Mahela is one of the most gifted batsman that SL has ever produced and probably the most underappreciated of the lot. A man who has over 11,000+ test runs (most runs by a Lankan), 11000+ ODI runs (second highest), 1400+ T20 runs (most runs by a Lankan - has better average & a strike rate than both Sanga & Sanath!) + with 374 as the highest score in a test (highest by a Lankan)and a century in WC Final he doesn't have to prove anything. Neither Sanath nor Sanga has achieved this - that doesn't mean these guys aren't great but it simply means cricket is not a game of numbers. It's about the impact that you make in the field and in the dressing room and overall how you contribute to the betterment of SL cricket. I'm pretty sure a man who handed over the captaincy to Sanga/ Mathews & quit T20 when no one was forcing him to do so will know when to quit than us :)

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Pakistani Team For World Cup 2015

    1 A.Shehzad 2 Sami Aslam 3 Umar Akmal(w/k) 4 Fawad Alam 5 Shoaib Malik/Mohammad Hafeez(v/c) 6 Hammad Azam 7 Shahid Afridi(c) 8 Wahab Riaz 9 Saeed Ajmal 10 Taj Wali/Mohammad Talha/Mir Hamza 11 Junaid Khan

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