England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day June 23, 2014

Jayawardene turns up heat on Cook

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England can't handle the pressure - Mahela Jayawardene

A fired-up Mahela Jayawardene shot barbs at England's tactics at Headingley and questioned their embattled captain's public comments, after Sri Lanka finished day four with a famous away win in sight. The tour has been hard-fought on both sides, with the reporting of Sachithra Senanayake's bowling action and the England response to Jos Buttler's Mankading in the fifth ODI causing the most visible grief in the Sri Lanka camp.

Sri Lanka's bowlers have largely prospered by bowling a fuller length at Headingley, while England's fast bowlers largely bowled shorter. When asked if Sri Lanka had shown England how to bowl seam at the venue, Jayawardene said his side had conveyed that very notion to England's batsmen in the middle.

"Their idea of hurting us and hitting us on the head probably doesn't work," he said. "If you're getting that good length up front, getting the ball to do a bit and being patient, one way or another, people will nick it. I thought we hung in there. We were disciplined enough. We had to get a few hits on our bodies, but I'm sure tomorrow afternoon we'll have a good laugh about it."

The fourth day began with England holding the edge but Angelo Mathews' excellent 160 and an intense four-wicket burst from Dhammika Prasad left the visitors with five wickets to get to complete victory.

"England were quite chirpy in the morning, but they quietened up after the first hour or so," Jayawardene said. "That's part of the game. We know who is on top and who is not. They were quite chirpy yesterday evening as well, and they probably got quite a few from us when they came to bat. They'll definitely get some more in the morning as well.

"Chirping them is something we had spoken about. We've seen that under pressure, they're not quite up to it. So we'll definitely look forward to tomorrow. There's a few young guys to come in and they'll get some sledging."

On the eve of the match, Alastair Cook had said "concerns had been raised" in the England camp when they viewed Senanayake's action on video - a comment which will not have been taken well by the Sri Lanka team, who have rallied around Senanayake since his being reported. But it was Cook's comments about his vocal critic Shane Warne, however, that Jayawardene questioned the wisdom of.

"I definitely feel for him but it doesn't help when you have arguments with commentators and past cricketers. That's something you can't control. You try and control what's there for you, which is trying to perform and carry yourself through."

Cook's unhappy run has continued through the first part of England's summer, with his place in the Test team beginning to look shaky, let alone his captaincy. He has averaged 19.5 in the current series. Jayawardene said: "I always felt as a captain - before you are captain, you are a player. You need contribute to the team. You have 11 guys and you're part of that. You can't think about too many other things."

Sri Lanka have already sewn up the limited-overs series and if they move on to a Test series win on Tuesday, they will have completed an incredible tour. It would also cap off a five-month stretch in which they have won series across all formats in Bangladesh, the Asia Cup and the World T20. Jayawardene suggested the tense nature of the England tour would make a Test win particularly sweet.

"As a team this was always going to be a challenging tour for us," Jayawardene said. "Things have happened, and we were quite comfortable with the way we handled them. At the end of the day our cricket was always going to be looked upon. I think we've played it with the right spirit, and played it very fairly.

"Even coming into the Test series, we knew we had to brace for some of the backlash - which we did. We held our fort together and came back strongly. A lot of credit to the team, to the management, and to the entire group. It's been a long season for us. We haven't stopped since last December. We've been playing cricket pretty much on the road, so if we can get an away Test series win, it would be fantastic going back home."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vkumar_086 on June 24, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS.....absolutely you are true mate....i also heard that saying by commentators.....pitches were flat, if it is not true, then why SL bowlers struggled on last day of test especially after 5 down on day 4th....anyhow SL performed better than England and secured a series win after very long time.....expecting the same kind of performance by SL after KS, MJ, TD retires from cricket.....now INDIA's turn to beat the England side and INDIA will perform this time better than SL

  • on June 24, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    I think cook is not competent enough to become a good captain. His form has been very poor. How he handled media throughout this tour has been also very poor. Instead of trying to play foolish mind games, he should have been concentrating on doing the job in the field.

  • nlpdave on June 24, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    England have never picked the best side, always people are excluded often because they don't doff their caps sufficiently deferentially. Clearly we do need KP.

  • geoffboyc on June 24, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    Sri Lanka shouldn't be too optimistic about future series. They've done really well to come back from a losing position here, thanks partly to some inexplicable tactics and captaincy by Cook. However, but for a ridiculously delayed declaration in the Lords Test, they would have lost by a lot to a very ordinary England team.

  • on June 24, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    At the moment, Sri Lanka are riding on wave of confidence. With WC in Aus and NZ, they can certainly pose a threat. They are playing with no fear. Thats how you should be.. And certainly a team to watch out for against Australia , England, NZ in WC

  • godshand on June 24, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    ENG are in for a white wash from the Indians as well. MSD and men are more mature than in 2011 and ENG are without KP, Swann and Trott while Cook's captaincy and batting are doing less talking than his foolish reactions to comments on him

  • kentjones on June 24, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Let me be the first to salute the magnificent performances of the Sri Lankan team, their efforts on the field of play has been nothing less than outstanding. However I am somewhat bothered by Mahela's mention of using sledging and giving a few back (chirpiness or whatever its called). Sri Lanka has demonstrated over the last five months their all round ability over all formats of the game. As a team, they can rely solely on their performances with bat, ball and fielding to win almost any game and against any opponent. It is a cause for concern to hear from Mahela's viewpoint that it appears that sledging is now a vital part of their strategy as well for winning the game. Even more worrying is his public announcement of it. Does anyone remember the Australians being damned and slammed for the same use of sledging? Is it now a different game and okay for others to do it? Let us hail a team for their excellent use of bat and ball and not their volume of voice and adroitness of lip!!!

  • brightsidex10 on June 24, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    Mahela should know better than to comment on whether England can handle pressure or not and Jarrod Kimber should keep his pathetic thoughts to himself. Its very easy to make damning remarks about a team that's struggling to rebuild ,even for someone with no love for the game, but it doesn't help anyone and certainly doesn't promote positive thinking and well being in the team or the supporters. If watching England play cricket induces such feelings in Kimber may I politely suggest that he stops watching it and finds another pass-time.

  • Raki99 on June 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    Don't worry Eng. fans, Cook would be again scoring double centuries, let the first test again India begin. Its well known fact that any players who are out of touch gets their form back against India. No when Its comes to his leadership skills well he is worthless, he has no clue whatsoever we have seen this in the drubbing the pomies got in Australia. He only won last year against Aussies because Aussies were going through a rough patch. Also, in India they won because of KP. But again they might win against the Indians because Dhoni is also a lackluster captain when it comes to Test cricket.

  • on June 24, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    England are in a huge huge hole, tactically Cook has to be the worst captain in a while, and he was slated by Mark Butcher and Bob Willis in the Verdict.

    The sacking of KP-because he saw Cook's ineptness in Australia and was vocal about it- is akin to shooting the messenger. The only probable replacement for Cook as skipper would be Broad, but anyone would be better than Cook at the moment, and Moores [who got the job to ensure the permanent exclusion of KP] was also a very wrong decision.

    ECB are going to have to eat huge humble pie, especially if the series is lost, and then India win, and make huge changes, ie, Moores/Cook combination. Cook should personally resign, he is not capable of leadership

    get Troot, KP and Stokes back in the side asap, and find a specialist spinner too

  • vkumar_086 on June 24, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS.....absolutely you are true mate....i also heard that saying by commentators.....pitches were flat, if it is not true, then why SL bowlers struggled on last day of test especially after 5 down on day 4th....anyhow SL performed better than England and secured a series win after very long time.....expecting the same kind of performance by SL after KS, MJ, TD retires from cricket.....now INDIA's turn to beat the England side and INDIA will perform this time better than SL

  • on June 24, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    I think cook is not competent enough to become a good captain. His form has been very poor. How he handled media throughout this tour has been also very poor. Instead of trying to play foolish mind games, he should have been concentrating on doing the job in the field.

  • nlpdave on June 24, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    England have never picked the best side, always people are excluded often because they don't doff their caps sufficiently deferentially. Clearly we do need KP.

  • geoffboyc on June 24, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    Sri Lanka shouldn't be too optimistic about future series. They've done really well to come back from a losing position here, thanks partly to some inexplicable tactics and captaincy by Cook. However, but for a ridiculously delayed declaration in the Lords Test, they would have lost by a lot to a very ordinary England team.

  • on June 24, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    At the moment, Sri Lanka are riding on wave of confidence. With WC in Aus and NZ, they can certainly pose a threat. They are playing with no fear. Thats how you should be.. And certainly a team to watch out for against Australia , England, NZ in WC

  • godshand on June 24, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    ENG are in for a white wash from the Indians as well. MSD and men are more mature than in 2011 and ENG are without KP, Swann and Trott while Cook's captaincy and batting are doing less talking than his foolish reactions to comments on him

  • kentjones on June 24, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Let me be the first to salute the magnificent performances of the Sri Lankan team, their efforts on the field of play has been nothing less than outstanding. However I am somewhat bothered by Mahela's mention of using sledging and giving a few back (chirpiness or whatever its called). Sri Lanka has demonstrated over the last five months their all round ability over all formats of the game. As a team, they can rely solely on their performances with bat, ball and fielding to win almost any game and against any opponent. It is a cause for concern to hear from Mahela's viewpoint that it appears that sledging is now a vital part of their strategy as well for winning the game. Even more worrying is his public announcement of it. Does anyone remember the Australians being damned and slammed for the same use of sledging? Is it now a different game and okay for others to do it? Let us hail a team for their excellent use of bat and ball and not their volume of voice and adroitness of lip!!!

  • brightsidex10 on June 24, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    Mahela should know better than to comment on whether England can handle pressure or not and Jarrod Kimber should keep his pathetic thoughts to himself. Its very easy to make damning remarks about a team that's struggling to rebuild ,even for someone with no love for the game, but it doesn't help anyone and certainly doesn't promote positive thinking and well being in the team or the supporters. If watching England play cricket induces such feelings in Kimber may I politely suggest that he stops watching it and finds another pass-time.

  • Raki99 on June 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    Don't worry Eng. fans, Cook would be again scoring double centuries, let the first test again India begin. Its well known fact that any players who are out of touch gets their form back against India. No when Its comes to his leadership skills well he is worthless, he has no clue whatsoever we have seen this in the drubbing the pomies got in Australia. He only won last year against Aussies because Aussies were going through a rough patch. Also, in India they won because of KP. But again they might win against the Indians because Dhoni is also a lackluster captain when it comes to Test cricket.

  • on June 24, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    England are in a huge huge hole, tactically Cook has to be the worst captain in a while, and he was slated by Mark Butcher and Bob Willis in the Verdict.

    The sacking of KP-because he saw Cook's ineptness in Australia and was vocal about it- is akin to shooting the messenger. The only probable replacement for Cook as skipper would be Broad, but anyone would be better than Cook at the moment, and Moores [who got the job to ensure the permanent exclusion of KP] was also a very wrong decision.

    ECB are going to have to eat huge humble pie, especially if the series is lost, and then India win, and make huge changes, ie, Moores/Cook combination. Cook should personally resign, he is not capable of leadership

    get Troot, KP and Stokes back in the side asap, and find a specialist spinner too

  • steve48 on June 24, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    The trouble with everything post Ashes is down to panic and knee jerk reaction. No, not talking about sacking KP, but the over the top backing of Cook as not just the man to keep his job, but the vision for our future. Then, he has decided to react to accusation of weakness, negativity etc by attempting to be uber frank and aggressive, thus the intemperate comments about mankadding, doosras, KP, Warne, Buttler and so on. Meanwhile, he is stiill a captain without full control of tactics or his bowlers, painfully aware yesterday. It really has been 'dig a hole' time at the ECB, hope Cook the batsman, at least, recovers from the eventual fallout.

  • mm7111 on June 24, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    @sray, yea & I'm the Queen of England posting nonsensical comments. Why this nonsensical comments, a lot of us in India too are glad with Srilanka's win. You cant equate a billion people with a few dozen trash talking internet commenters who may or may not be Indians.

  • Indians-love-flattracks on June 24, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    @ITJOBSUCKS Lol keep finding reasons, we all know how bitter the Indians are. How exactly is it a flat track, when SL managed to take 5 wickets the same day Mathews played a blinder. Simply reason being they are better batsmen. I don't expect India to put half the fight. Another Whitewash on the cards

  • on June 24, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    I think Cook's comments about crossing the line, when he repeatedly bounced tail-enders, has come back to haunt him. I mean he even bounced #11 causing him to fall over his wicket. Hardly anyone went to his aid, not was he called back. Classic case of throwing stones when one lives in glass houses. I mean the total his total superiority complex of having the audacity to think he can dictate what is in the spirit of cricket and what isn't. He is not going to get any sympathy from more experienced and far more talented players like Mahela. They are getting the last laugh for sure.

  • jb633 on June 24, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    I must be one of the only English fans that is happy Mahela and the rest are beating us. I simply can't support this English side at the moment. The whole set up is wrong right from the top to grass roots cricket. The fact we are not even looking for a spin option disgusts me and when has playing four seamers ever worked. We must have the worst captain in world cricket and with him a board of selectors with no vision and no innovation. Cricket is struggling with decreasing participation rates in this country and the ECB have done nothing to endeaur themselves to an increasinly dissilussioned public. SL deserve their win no doubt. We are an utter shambles right now and deserve nothing but loss after loss. Until we completley revolutionise our approach to cricket nothing will change. Imagine what will happen when we play these boys away from home eh. Scary thoughts.

  • on June 24, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    I am happy with the way Mathews played. Hope Team India would have seen this. Cook is cooked and he is paying for his arrogance. More than hitting the stumps they were trying to hit the batsman. Hope they will learn the lesson. It was a pathetic sight to see the English bowlers toiling against Mathews and Herath.

  • sray23 on June 24, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    SL are at least twice as good as India in Tests right now. What a joke they only get 2 Tests in Eng and India get 5. Yet again, the commerce of cricket being put before on-field performances. And no I am not a Sri Lankan, I'm Indian...

  • Sultan2007 on June 24, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    THis just shows that teams in a rebuilding phase always struggle to recreate themselves -especially in the 5 day format - and England is no different. India is going through this as well. SL are fortunate that they have Sanga and Mahela still there. The England India series should be interesting though England have the edge with a more settled bowling attack and the advantage of home conditions. India will served to recognize that in England spin bowling will rarely win you test games unless the quicks at least set the foundation - to whit, Angelo and Prasad. I expect they have blundered by not including Umesh in the team

  • ksquared on June 24, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Flat track my foot why is it so hard for people like ITJOBSUCKS to admit SL have played superbly well is it the superiority complex that these guys can't stomach talented players from a small island with next to nothing resources compared to india are doing better than their own players? This track has been great for test cricket if the likes of Prasad can grab 4 wickets on the last session of the 4th day of the match how on earth can u call that a flat track?

  • Bansam on June 24, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    The English bowlers showed their incompetency by trying to get wickets with body line bowling. Broad and Plunkett did not have any other armoury in their fort. The only good bowler was Anderson who bowled line and length and got the wickets. Umpires should have reported Plunket and Broad for throwing instead of Senanayake. It was unfortunate that Plunket escaped similar fate on a fifth day and hope that Prasad and Pradeep could send some half pitch missiles at Broad on the last day and let them taste their own medicine.

  • Izydeen on June 24, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Mahela J is a smart tactician... He is way senior to Cook..and a smarter thinker... Cook had to eat humble pie... Mahela on his last tour of England may have the last laugh at Cook...... This is rubbing salt to a wound... and Cook deserves it... for thinking he is ALL THAT...

  • 9ST9 on June 24, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Cook has so far been uninspiring. I expect India to trounce this English team. Also MJ should keep it cool until the match is over.

  • on June 24, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    The Cook and Moores regime was always destined to fail. It will surely end in disaster.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 24, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Good on the Sri Lankans for talking and playing tough, they are a really good side and deserve a win here. If England persist with a coach not up to the job and keep selecting players out of form based on some performances in the Stone Age they will continue to get flogged whoever they play.

  • Herath-UK on June 24, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    This is the problem of early summer games though the skies today look nice.Usually with the start of Wimbledon,it starts to rain cats & dogs here.Otherwise I would have bought tickets to the game ,what a miss.waiting to see the proper sun which the indians going to enjoy.

  • ShaneIngram on June 24, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Very few people accept the fact that the Sri Lankans are in England at the beginning of their summer, won the T20, won the one day series, doing really well in the test series and would probably win that too. However, still so many comments are being made about the mistakes England have made and what they should have done. It's time that decent people who love the game for what it is, open up and pay tribute to the Sri Lankans for such a splendid performance in alien conditions. During commentaries often it is mentioned about how the Sri Lankan greats such as Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara perform well in the Asian region and not elsewhere. Well here is something for those guys to think about, try giving Sri Lankans 3 or 5 test series instead of one off and two test series on a regular basis, then it might be a different story. With mostly one or two test series being given to Sri Lanka (England in this case), it is not easy for batsman to be on the money from the word go.

  • Kruns on June 24, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I am an Indian Fan and very happy with SL performance in ENG , And waiting to see even batter performance from India.. Just saw one of comments that India has a better batting side than SL well with the current team i dont agree... Only the two legends would have more runs than the Indian current side so no comparison at all.

    Mahela you are a star and such things from you are not expected I know teams like ENG and AUS has the habiit to get under the skin of the subcontinents players but let the performance do the talking which you have always done...

    Anyways the frustration may come out sometimes so fine all the best for winning the game....

  • on June 24, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Basic problem with Cook is his lazy attitude,, taken for granted body language. He hardly seems to give any advice to bowlers. Even anderson, broad are very seniors,,,, they need someone who is fresh on legs,,, shows aggressive attitude like Johnson showed in last Ashes,,,

  • Unbiased-views on June 24, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    @ Indians-love-flattracks we all saw how well thirmanne, chandimal & co played the short ball on this dead pitch!! I heard commentators like Andrew Strauss & Russel Arnold were saying that picthes are really FLAT more like srilankan wickets except for the bit of swing on the first 2 days @ Leeds!!

  • srirammsw on June 24, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka. Great job! About England though, sorry to say, they are not a good team. They are not tough enough. They played good cricket for some time during the period when they beat India 4-0. But that was time when probably their opponents were not playing well. I always felt England's quality (or the lack of it) will be exposed when they play a team doing well and they found them in Australia. Once, the Aussies showed the lack of quality in England, even the England players realized it and now they are finding it very hard to come out of it. If England have to come anywhere near to the form of 4-0 win over India recently, first thing they need to get is mental toughness and common sense approach to both batting and bowling. Of course, you cannot get there dropping catches and with poor fielding. Overall bat bowl and field well and currently you are very bad in all of these. I know there have been a few 100s but need them consistently or else they are just a flash in pan.

  • on June 24, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    England cricket is much bigger than what it is today unfortunately … as cricket lover we respect England for that but living up to the expectation is something that they are struggling. Full credit for Mahela and team for keeping the cool

  • shix on June 24, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    I think its too early to go on with short ball tactics or aiming at batsmen body. you have a new ball and you have a bowler like jimmy anderson who can able to move the ball on both sides, conditions are good, there comes the big ?? on cook tactics.or If you have a bowler like mitch or morne who can bowl at 150ks, you can indimidate the opposition with that kind of short ball attack. eng lacks that kind of bowlers. inclusion of steven finn, chris tremlett would have been better option.

  • Mervo on June 24, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    Cook really should listen. All the commentators and past players aren't completely wrong. He is a good batsman and will recover that form. That has nothing to do with his captaincy. England need to pick English-born and developed players and an English captain, for team spirit and commitment if nothing else.

  • notimeforcricket on June 24, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    Reality: Cook is a great batsman who is out of form. When he loses confidence, his foot movement goes from limited to non existent and he is a sitting duck. He is a terrible captain. More importantly, the captaincy is exhausting him and, therefore, he is not concentrating hard enough when batting. he appears distracted and is making silly mistakes. He has never been a prety player but he used to be hard to dismiss. as with Trott, when the mind is not right, a dour/defensive batsman just becomes an easy target. a more talented batsman can somtimes hit his way out of trouble when his head is not right. He needs to sit out a couple of games and come back with someone else as captain. I would be sorely temtped to give it to Anderson or Broad as the batsmen need to focus on getting runs!

  • on June 24, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    cook will be back in form as its india in next... so no need to sack him

  • Patchmaster on June 24, 2014, 4:17 GMT

    Cook will get the picked again, he'll tour India as captain, and he'll get some half decent runs on the featherbed pitches. Unfortunately, when the Ashes comes around again, or SA, he'll be prodding and poking outside the offstump as usual. His captaincy is bereft of ideas and he's hardly an inspiring leader is he ? Time for him to go away to County Cricket, get some runs and then come back as the opening batsman again, under someone else's captaincy. Someone with some ideas, bravery and who can lead by example with bat or ball. Cook's a great bloke, but the game has moved on without him.

  • on June 24, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Unusually strong words from Mahela. England trying to do what Aussies did to them- trying to be aggressive and play on-the-face type of cricket. But its not their brand, is it? Nor do they have players who could pull it off. Oh, they had one but has been sacked!

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka, you deserve to Win.

  • David_Boon on June 24, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    Pretty hilarious that the ECB booted KP and the coach to 'rebuild' around Cook, and now only a few months later there are calls for him to quit or be sacked. Typical English mismanagement. Also Cook's tactics were once again woeful - he loves trying to get tailenders on strike and just feeds runs to a senior batsmen. They even tried it with Michael Clarke at the Gabba and he made 113. Just tells your bowlers you don't think they can get a particular batsman out. Just schoolboy leadership and tactics, how do they expect to win when that's how they play?

  • Indians-love-flattracks on June 24, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Maybe India should take a leaf out of their book. This tiny nation sure knows how to put up a fight. Shorts balls would have had the Indians reeling, Eng surely must have been left frustrated as Lankans batsmen went about unperturbed.

  • sarangsrk on June 24, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    With all that has happened between these 2 teams in last 1 month, I still don't think that a player like Jayawardhene needs to make such statements. Yes, they have played better than Eng but that doesn't warrant saying we will chirp their middle order. That happens anyways on the field, why do you want to show it? That is the difference between greats like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Lankan greats like Mahela and Sanga. Indian greats never made such statements against opp players.

  • Click_Click_Cricket on June 24, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    JB spoke the truth - KP will soon invite JB for dinner.

  • randikaayya on June 24, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Very well spoken Mahela! Shows the English camp how to preserve the spirit of th game and also sportsmanship while issuing commentaries as well. What shone through this whole series was the character of the Sri Lankan team, individuals, senior pros and especially the young captain! Well done sirs, we are proud of you!

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 24, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    mahela should not open mouth until match is won. Still Poms can win the match if Root turns into Anjelo and Broad into Rangana.

  • WalkingWicket11 on June 24, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    Hang in there, Cook and England. The Indians' tour is round the corner. They will get you back in form, as they always do.

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    One of the best knocks ever in test cricket you will see, and one of the best comebacks on foreign soil ever by Sri Lanka !

  • on June 24, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    Cook let the initiative go at Lord's and English Bowlers bowled short trying to Intimidate Sri-Lanka. I lay the entire blame on Cook. It must be his advise that Bowlers followed!

  • on June 24, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Reallybad time for Cok... Jayawardane & all speaking bt his batting failures...

  • on June 24, 2014, 2:26 GMT

    Hi Guys, Well done so far in office, but there are 2 or 3 more batsmen and the tail to finish. Job is not done until the last ball is bowled. That is cricket. All the best.

  • on June 24, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Cook is being served left right and centre, and now from the little wizard mahela... lol, mankading is just not cricket, and it's just not cool at all to sook about Warne - and to make comments on a bowler's action publically is not cool at all... But the most uncool thing of it all, is an opening Batsman getting out bowled and cheaply the way Cook has done. Let's see how Cook pulls himself out of this learning experience.(if he gets the chance).

  • dunger.bob on June 24, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    What a tremendous interview. I'm impressed.

    Mahela comes across as being sharp as a tack. Some beautifully understated yet cutting remarks about his opposite number. He also seems happy to engage in verbal jousting which is fine, but please let that put a stop to the 'oh, but we never sledge' stuff from the fans. It's right there, from the captains lips: "There's a few young guys to come in and they'll get some sledging." .. Like I said, nothing wrong with it, it gets the adrenaline going.

    The biggest thing for me in this interview is that SL have played very smart cricket, particularly when it comes to the lengths they've been bowling. England have been using a sledge-hammer while SL prefer the scalpel. .. Sorry England, scalpel wins.

    All in all, a very impressive man leading an impressive cricket team who happen to be riding a tidal wave of recent success. .. Good on them, they deserve it.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on June 24, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    cook needs to be himself..he is always trying to be someone he is not.look at his body language after becoming captain compared with when he wasn't. i feel he is trying to be that energetic and charismatic leader like vaughan or even nasir the way he tries to talk and show wisdom. if he just be himself he'll do ok. but time is running out fast for him now!

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    Only bad weather could deny us the famous victory we have been waiting for .

  • on June 24, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    It was rather immature to take what amounted to sledging off field without sufficient justification, talking of cricketing spirit and Gods. Focusing on the job at hand would have been more profitable. A knowledge of the Sri Lankan psyche would have been worthwhile too, that often blundering and lackadaisical, they are at their most efficient and get their act together when wounded.

  • on June 24, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    I have always admired Mahela and Sangha .Great cricketers and gentlemen.Pity they are retiring.

  • evenflow_1990 on June 23, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    you tell them mahela! give them a good dose of sledging, the english definitely deserve it. the psychological warfare they brought upon us has clearly failed. what they need now is some talent to go with all their money.

  • on June 23, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    Jaya should be quite. He is a dust bowl king. Thanks to Mathews and some good bowling by Prasad.

  • KosalaDeSilva on June 23, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    Well said Mahela....It's great team work...

  • on June 23, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    great words maiya. well spoken. we made them pay back with our performances. not with stupid actions. we are on the verge of a well deserved historic test victory. this match was yet another example for the test cricket haters. thank you so much sri lanka cricket team for the great match you have played so far. it was absolute pure performance.

  • __PK on June 23, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    ...and they expect Warne to find something new to talk about? Cook's captaincy is the biggest issue in the English game at the moment.

  • paapam on June 23, 2014, 21:43 GMT

    Cook is a fine batsman. He should step down as captain and salvage his test career. He has the potential and. Time to break many test batting records.

  • UndertheGrill on June 23, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. England haven't. Mathews should be man of the series.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    Let's finish it tomorrow, Maiya! Good Luck!

  • pcraju on June 23, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    Need to bring KP back? Well it looks too late. Not sure if many understood what KP was looking for. He was looking for captaincy as per my knowledge even after the issue with Moores. I always felt cook is not a good captain as he doesn't make the right moves on the field and is very conventional. Bell is the only other choice for captain but not sure how good he would be as a captain. Cook's form should return once he hands over the captaincy to someone else. He is just not able to manage with the heat around him. Morgan is a good choice for captaincy but he doesn't even play tests. Lot of work for the selectors and English administrators to do.

  • Twinkie on June 23, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Seems like the Cookie Jar is empty. I couldn't understand Cooks tactics at all today and neither could the former England captains in the commentary box. How could you give a man a single when he's on 99. Then when pressure was put on him at 149 he ran out the non-strike. Too late! That was an elementary mistake. Cook always seems to take off the bowler most likely to get the wicket and then stick to the plan that obviously isn't working for far too long. He sets defensive fields at times when wickets are urgently needed. And then to top it all off he's no better with a microphone than he is with the bat these days. Can't keep his foot out of his mouth. On the other hand the only mistake Angelo Matthews has made is the one that cost Herath his wicket. This tale of two captains can only end one way.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    Celebrating too early it seems

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Even in defeat SL has been very honarable.sportsman spirit is something part and parcel of SL cricket. Players like Prior, Bell etc who keep chirping away to distract the batsman now got back one of their own medicines. England selectors have a handful on their hands with five test coming up soon. How long can they afford a captain who is woefully out of form. Cook has to drop himself for a test or two if the selectors don't drop him.and England also lacked leadership and tactics on the fourth day. They completely forgot that they have a frontline attack that can dismiss Mathews too. They focussed so much on the tail that they forgot about Mathews. What is a Captain Cooks role in all of this? Where was the think tank? Just focussing on seedling won't get wickets. Even the great Aussies have learnt this the hard way. Rejoice India. You are up against a clueless England team.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 23, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Tough period for Cook. Some time aside from international cricket might do him the world of good you know. When you're out of form, you're out of form, and time (if you've got it) is a good healer. No disgrace in stepping down / taking time off, and many top sportsmen have come back all the better from it.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 23, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    "England were quite chirpy in the morning, but they quietened up after the first hour or so," Jayawardene said.. Hahaa Brilliant stuff !!!

    "They were quite chirpy yesterday evening as well, and they probably got quite a few from us when they came to bat. They'll definitely get some more in the morning as well..." Love it!

  • Revelation3_7 on June 23, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    well said Mahela, looks like Plunkett got what he gave to SL players, nothing can stop a great win by the Lankans tomorrow!!!

  • on June 23, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    About time the lankans were accorded a proper three test series not just in England but when touring Down Under. and other overseas venues. Much has been talked about with respect to the lack of winning records on overseas tours of which a huge part of that is due to short tours being scheduled off season with little room for preparation. This was probably the first proper tour for SL in Eng that was not scheduled in early May and look how confidently and capably the lankans have performed when given a fair shake. Hopefully the lankans will carry this momentum through into the SA and PAK test series and then onto the grand daddy of them all in March 2015.

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  • on June 23, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    About time the lankans were accorded a proper three test series not just in England but when touring Down Under. and other overseas venues. Much has been talked about with respect to the lack of winning records on overseas tours of which a huge part of that is due to short tours being scheduled off season with little room for preparation. This was probably the first proper tour for SL in Eng that was not scheduled in early May and look how confidently and capably the lankans have performed when given a fair shake. Hopefully the lankans will carry this momentum through into the SA and PAK test series and then onto the grand daddy of them all in March 2015.

  • Revelation3_7 on June 23, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    well said Mahela, looks like Plunkett got what he gave to SL players, nothing can stop a great win by the Lankans tomorrow!!!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on June 23, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    "England were quite chirpy in the morning, but they quietened up after the first hour or so," Jayawardene said.. Hahaa Brilliant stuff !!!

    "They were quite chirpy yesterday evening as well, and they probably got quite a few from us when they came to bat. They'll definitely get some more in the morning as well..." Love it!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 23, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Tough period for Cook. Some time aside from international cricket might do him the world of good you know. When you're out of form, you're out of form, and time (if you've got it) is a good healer. No disgrace in stepping down / taking time off, and many top sportsmen have come back all the better from it.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Even in defeat SL has been very honarable.sportsman spirit is something part and parcel of SL cricket. Players like Prior, Bell etc who keep chirping away to distract the batsman now got back one of their own medicines. England selectors have a handful on their hands with five test coming up soon. How long can they afford a captain who is woefully out of form. Cook has to drop himself for a test or two if the selectors don't drop him.and England also lacked leadership and tactics on the fourth day. They completely forgot that they have a frontline attack that can dismiss Mathews too. They focussed so much on the tail that they forgot about Mathews. What is a Captain Cooks role in all of this? Where was the think tank? Just focussing on seedling won't get wickets. Even the great Aussies have learnt this the hard way. Rejoice India. You are up against a clueless England team.

  • on June 23, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    Celebrating too early it seems

  • Twinkie on June 23, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Seems like the Cookie Jar is empty. I couldn't understand Cooks tactics at all today and neither could the former England captains in the commentary box. How could you give a man a single when he's on 99. Then when pressure was put on him at 149 he ran out the non-strike. Too late! That was an elementary mistake. Cook always seems to take off the bowler most likely to get the wicket and then stick to the plan that obviously isn't working for far too long. He sets defensive fields at times when wickets are urgently needed. And then to top it all off he's no better with a microphone than he is with the bat these days. Can't keep his foot out of his mouth. On the other hand the only mistake Angelo Matthews has made is the one that cost Herath his wicket. This tale of two captains can only end one way.

  • pcraju on June 23, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    Need to bring KP back? Well it looks too late. Not sure if many understood what KP was looking for. He was looking for captaincy as per my knowledge even after the issue with Moores. I always felt cook is not a good captain as he doesn't make the right moves on the field and is very conventional. Bell is the only other choice for captain but not sure how good he would be as a captain. Cook's form should return once he hands over the captaincy to someone else. He is just not able to manage with the heat around him. Morgan is a good choice for captaincy but he doesn't even play tests. Lot of work for the selectors and English administrators to do.

  • on June 23, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    Let's finish it tomorrow, Maiya! Good Luck!

  • UndertheGrill on June 23, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. England haven't. Mathews should be man of the series.