Indian Premier League 2012 February 5, 2012

Jayawardene eyeing finisher's role at Daredevils

56

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, has said he will complement the big-hitting batsmen at his new IPL franchise, the Delhi Daredevils, and will try to play the role of a finisher. Jayawardene was one of 16 players from the terminated Kochi IPL franchise up for auction yesterday in Bangalore, and was bought by the Daredevils for US$1.4 million, making him the second-most expensive player on the day after Ravindra Jadeja. He said he was looking forward to playing with the likes of Virender Sehwag, David Warner and the newly acquired Kevin Pietersen.

"I will leave those guys to do the big hitting and do what I know best: control the innings and finish off games, if I can," Jayawardene told ESPNcricinfo. "Wherever they want me to bat is fine. I will try and find a role in the team."

The Daredevils struggled to make runs consistently last season, missing out on the playoffs for the first time, but Jayawardene said he was pleased to be part of a franchise with a consistent record. "Obviously, after what happened with Kochi, you hope that someone will pick you up and you get to play in the IPL. Delhi has had four good seasons. It will be good to be part of that."

The scrapping of the Kochi team means the Daredevils will be Jayawardene's third franchise in five years, but he said he was looking forward to the challenge of getting "used to how they do things and understand how they want to play". Describing the IPL season as a "rollercoaster", Jayawardene said the key to a successful season was getting everyone in the squad on the same page and chasing the same goals.

"You have to have a very positive mind to go through these five or six weeks of cricket. It is very arduous. How you manage losing as a team is very important. How you come back and win two games to get the momentum back ... it is a roller coaster. You have to enjoy it. There is no other way of doing it."

The demand for Jayawardene's services is proof that it is not just the thumpers that earn the big bucks in Twenty20 cricket. It helps that he is one of only three batsmen - Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum are the other two - to have scored a hundred in Tests, ODIs, Twenty20 internationals and IPL games. According to him, the shortest version of the game requires both technical and mental adjustments. "You need to find what your strengths are and any areas in which you can improve. Everything happens so quickly. You have to adjust accordingly and make decisions with a clear mind. Everything you do is not going to be the right thing, but if you have a clear mind and make the adjustments you will do well."

One of the attributes of the IPL is that it gives players from different countries a chance to be on the same team and Jayawardene believes this has had a positive effect on international cricket. "We [the players] understand each other off the field, how we are as team-mates. You have that mutual respect for each other. It has definitely helped to have a better understanding of teams and individual players."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rony87 on February 8, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    @kavindeven - Please read my comment again.. its just a schedule of whether the marquee players like warner kp and MJ stay with DD for the complete season or leav early..

  • 3rd_man on February 7, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    @mark2011 take it easy man, just putting up my views here! I am independent cricket supporter who loves good cricket and sportsmanship. to answer your questions buddy , well why DD bought him for 1.4 mill.. I dont have a clue.., but its interesting to see how he handles his so called "finishers role bu ha haaaaaaaa!!!

  • on February 7, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Right Choice for the DDs... looking forward to a new season of the IPL all sain and done ;)))

  • VijayaraghavanRavi on February 7, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Delhi will have a better say in IPL only if it is played in Australia, having 9 -10 quickies in the squad . Wats the use in picking up mahela when you lack a quality spinner in the line up ? The very nature of subcontinent pitches has to be kept in mind before emptying your pockets !

  • Mark00 on February 7, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    His IPL record is pretty good. His powers of concentration are no longer what they used to be, it seems, for test matches.

  • Nuwas on February 7, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Well, it's not fair to jump into conclusions without considering all the facts. As far as I'm concerned, it's just an answer to a question Mahela had given, caused so much of tension among the folks out here. It's all upto Mahela to prove his worthiness in DD & afterall not to forget his duties towards his motherland, which made him the cricketer of his caliber. heartiest wishes to SL Cricket...

  • xenon555 on February 7, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    I see a very good batting team in Delhi: 1) Sehwag 2) Warner 3) KP 4) Mahela 5) Naman Ojha+ 6) Venugopal Rao - The bowling will be okay with Morkel and Yadav but still there is NO spin outside Vandermerwe (oversees) and they may be forced to sit KP for Russell or Hopes.

  • on February 7, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Many do not watch IPL here in Sri Lanka now, we would rather watch TRiangular in Australia or Pakistan - Engliand which is really competitive. First IPL I watched all matches, Second the final state, third none. Fourth none too. What do my Indian friends say ?

  • mark2011 on February 6, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    @3rd-man; then why the hell DD bought MJ at $ 1.4Million...are they mad orare u mad ?? why didn' t DD consult you before puting price on MJ???

  • Cannuck on February 6, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Well said Viraj Dayananda! Lot of people are quick to blame players, but forget that it's the media who starts some of these issue, in order to sell their, magazine, TV show or web site. We live in a world where every soundbite is amplified. Few years ago athletes could express themselves freely. Today, they can't because every Tom, Dick & Harry has a cell phone with a mic/camera & can easily upload, create stories for their own agenda. Sadly some in the general public are gullible to believe everything that is reported. People need to think first for themselves. I am sure Mahela is doing his best to get the team prepared for the CB series & beyond, but what do you expect when Tariq Engineer decides to ask him his thoughts on his recent IPL auction? If he refuses to answer he will be branded as a big headed spoilt athlete, when he does some of us scrutinize him for talking about IPL. It's not a win situation for them!

  • rony87 on February 8, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    @kavindeven - Please read my comment again.. its just a schedule of whether the marquee players like warner kp and MJ stay with DD for the complete season or leav early..

  • 3rd_man on February 7, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    @mark2011 take it easy man, just putting up my views here! I am independent cricket supporter who loves good cricket and sportsmanship. to answer your questions buddy , well why DD bought him for 1.4 mill.. I dont have a clue.., but its interesting to see how he handles his so called "finishers role bu ha haaaaaaaa!!!

  • on February 7, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Right Choice for the DDs... looking forward to a new season of the IPL all sain and done ;)))

  • VijayaraghavanRavi on February 7, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Delhi will have a better say in IPL only if it is played in Australia, having 9 -10 quickies in the squad . Wats the use in picking up mahela when you lack a quality spinner in the line up ? The very nature of subcontinent pitches has to be kept in mind before emptying your pockets !

  • Mark00 on February 7, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    His IPL record is pretty good. His powers of concentration are no longer what they used to be, it seems, for test matches.

  • Nuwas on February 7, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Well, it's not fair to jump into conclusions without considering all the facts. As far as I'm concerned, it's just an answer to a question Mahela had given, caused so much of tension among the folks out here. It's all upto Mahela to prove his worthiness in DD & afterall not to forget his duties towards his motherland, which made him the cricketer of his caliber. heartiest wishes to SL Cricket...

  • xenon555 on February 7, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    I see a very good batting team in Delhi: 1) Sehwag 2) Warner 3) KP 4) Mahela 5) Naman Ojha+ 6) Venugopal Rao - The bowling will be okay with Morkel and Yadav but still there is NO spin outside Vandermerwe (oversees) and they may be forced to sit KP for Russell or Hopes.

  • on February 7, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Many do not watch IPL here in Sri Lanka now, we would rather watch TRiangular in Australia or Pakistan - Engliand which is really competitive. First IPL I watched all matches, Second the final state, third none. Fourth none too. What do my Indian friends say ?

  • mark2011 on February 6, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    @3rd-man; then why the hell DD bought MJ at $ 1.4Million...are they mad orare u mad ?? why didn' t DD consult you before puting price on MJ???

  • Cannuck on February 6, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Well said Viraj Dayananda! Lot of people are quick to blame players, but forget that it's the media who starts some of these issue, in order to sell their, magazine, TV show or web site. We live in a world where every soundbite is amplified. Few years ago athletes could express themselves freely. Today, they can't because every Tom, Dick & Harry has a cell phone with a mic/camera & can easily upload, create stories for their own agenda. Sadly some in the general public are gullible to believe everything that is reported. People need to think first for themselves. I am sure Mahela is doing his best to get the team prepared for the CB series & beyond, but what do you expect when Tariq Engineer decides to ask him his thoughts on his recent IPL auction? If he refuses to answer he will be branded as a big headed spoilt athlete, when he does some of us scrutinize him for talking about IPL. It's not a win situation for them!

  • woodhaven on February 6, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    wow, what a change. all of a sudden they have the best line up and best reserve. they need to change captain though. mahela should be the captain because shehwag is not a good captain at all

  • RIPPER27 on February 6, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Suresh Raina has 100's in tests,ODI,T20 International but not in IPL .His highest score in IPL is 98 & his T20I 100 was against South Africa in T20 WC at West Indies. Jayawardene is a class player & will boost the batting of DD . DD will surely win dis time as DD is the only team which has players who plays SWITCH HIT - WARNER & PIETERSEN .

  • Romenevans on February 6, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    @ rony87- LOL your crazy, those IPL stats means nothing. You can't compare circus with a will smith movie. Or may be apples and oranges, ahem ahem!

  • muh189 on February 6, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    Well! he's got too excited to have pocketed $1.4m at the auction, and lost focus on wat really matters right now!!!!!!!!!! He has a much more important role to play as captain of his national team; rebuild a unit to make the lions roar again

  • on February 6, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    If he doesn't make himself a good finisher for Sri Lanka(with Chandimal Playing ahead of him) , he'd rather be finished. Wish him good luck..

  • apaar.garg on February 6, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    hey daredevils have 12 foreign players as per wikipedia. warner,wade,morkel,bracewell,mahela,peiterson,russel,vandermerwe, hopes,ingram,finch and birt

  • Anish143 on February 6, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Mr.Theekshana perera raina does ve a T20 hundred against SA in T20 world cup , and yes he should be included in the list Because he has 100 in all formats.

  • CricketPissek on February 6, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    funny how the commenters think they can assume and presume what goes through mahela's or anyone else's head. just because the press asked him what he feels his role will be in the IPL, narrow minded armchair pundits think this is the highest priority in his mind. what an utter joke. good luck mahela. hope you gain some form in the IPL as Sri Lanka needs you to be in good T20 knick for the World T20 in September under similar conditions

  • sachin_vvsfan on February 6, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Theekshana Perera Raina did score a 100 in T20 against SA in T20 WC.

    @All criticizing mahela. what would you do if are asked to respond on a tournament in which you are paid 1.4 million? .(And when your own board doesn't pay your dues?) Still concentrate on national games? Leave it guys this CB series is already decided. Its for Aussies to win. SL was included for financial reasons. IND VS SL matches will be just dead rubbers.

  • Lord.emsworth on February 6, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    MJ has been limping badly in the last 4 or 5 international series SL has played. He is entering his twilight stages... Yet he is valued at over a million (Together with mediocre Jadeja). IPL is a huge financial giant and the 'games' they play are not for the likes of me and other fans to fathom. Yet I wish Mahela well and hope he pulls it off. I'm sure Mahela being the humanist that you are, that you will give a large portion of your earnings to your own 'Hope' cancer project. Perhaps its Karma in motion.....

  • on February 6, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    rony87: Where does Umesh Yadav fit then??? Btw Mahela wll be available for the whole IPL since Apr 7 (he will miss only 1 or 2 ganes) and Pietersen will arrive at same time. The Aussies (Warner, probably Wade) will be back on 27th and will be available for the rest: I suggest that DD Play the first 2 games as: 1. Finch 2. Sehwag 3. Birt/Ingram 4. Venugopal Rao 5. Nagar 6. Russell 7. Ojha (wk) 8. Pathan 9. van der Merwe/Morkel 10. Aaron 11. Yadav

    When Warner, KP and Mahela are back, the team should be 1. Warner 2. Sehwag 3. Pietersen 4. Jayawardene 5. Venugopal Rao 6. Ojha (wk) 7. Nagar 8. Pathan 9. van der Merwe/Morkel 10. Aaron 11. Yadav

  • rony87 on February 6, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Being an avid DD fan, i did some resarch on DD squad, BEFORE 09TH APRIL DD play 2 matches where in MAHELA and PIETERSEN both will NOT be available because of the national duties.. WARNER too will busy with national duty till 27 April so the team for 2 mathces is as follows "sehwag*, finch/ojha, Rao, Wade wk, yogesh, negi/rawal, russell, vander merwe/morkel, pathan, aaron, dinda" PIETERSEN & MAHELA join in DD for the match on 10th.. the team - "Sehwag*, Mahela, Rao, Pietersen, yogesh, ojha wk, russell, vander merwe/morkel, pathan, aaron, dinda" On 27 april warner joins and makes it tricky for DD or may b a better DD team "Sehwag*, Warner, rao, Mahela , pietersen, yogesh ojha wk, russell/vandr mrwe/ morkel, pathan, aaron " MAHELA & PIETERSEN will leave for national duties on 10th and 17th may respectivly, whereas the rest of the international playrs will be available for DD for the remaining IPL Sehwag, warner, rao, wade, yogesh, rawal/negi, russll, merwe/morkl, pathan, aaron, dinda"

  • 3rd_man on February 6, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    I am not sure how effective MJ as a finisher. if he open the batting he can make some contribution with his def touches behind the wicket. with Sewag in the side I don't think he will appoint as captain. he is not a big hitter. interesting to see how he go about it with his poor form. what I cant understand is why he comments about IPL while he should be concentrating about his own batting and new role as SL captain for this upcoming CB series. its all about money for these guys. I am not sure he would have been there in the side if he had not given the captaincy role.

  • Nish8738 on February 6, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Yes raina also had a 100 in all forms of the game. test hundred against Lanka Odi hundred against pakistan and t20 hudred against SA and an IPL hundred. Include his name to the list please

  • on February 6, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    @ mohanckj raina does not have T20 hundred mate... its only an ipl 100 Lol btw mahela... you just try to win some matches in this cb series and show the dat you r capable still no need to think to far ahead ... u already pocketed SRS:140000000.00 LOl

  • KosalaDeSilva on February 6, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    well I think SL captain should first talk and think about CB series and win few matches for the country.Good luck as the captain..He didn't score enough to be in the SL side as batsman.So better he prove it it's worth him playing above Samaraweera after his performance.

  • RISHI2016 on February 6, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    DD seems to have found combination...Sehwag, Warner, KP, Mahela,Wade (wk), Venu Gopal Rao, Irfan, Agarkar, Dinda , Aaron and a spinner it would be mindblasting combo....

  • 9ST9 on February 6, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Mahela is a great opener in all formats, even in SL a pity tharanga and dilshan open in the ODI's. Sehwag and Jayawardana would be a great partnership to watch, but with Warner there we might not see that. I rather though Jayawardena would do well in Deccan, since they lack a good international level opener, as well as an aggressive batsman.

  • satish619chandar on February 6, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    DD have Warner and Sehwag.. Unless Sehwag comes o middle order, the opening slot wont be vacant.. So, Mahela is correct in predicting a middle order slot for him.. My guess is, Warner is a must in a T20 team.. With only 4 overseas slots, I would like DD play Russel as Russel is a good bowler and a heavy hitter too.. KP/Mahela ll share a middle order slot based on availability.. Merwe/Morkel to share a place based on the type of tracks.. DD need to use the bowlers properly.. They really got some good domestic fast bowlers in Dinda, Varun, Salvi and Agarkar.. Provided they were properly utilised, they can pose a good challenge..

  • on February 6, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Mahela is a good player. But I think he should think about CB series first. Rather than IPL

  • johnathonjosephs on February 6, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    Out of form Jayawardene saying he caan be finisher. too bad that warner and sehwag are in the team, because he would be an excellent opener. Maybe when the Aussies tour West Indies, they might let him experiment at the top

  • whyowhy on February 6, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    This guy should be thinking of leading his national side to victory at present rather than thinking of the IPL, his attention is already on his purse and not the glory for his country - If this is his attitude, I think the decision to make him skipper was the biggest mistake mad by the selectors......

  • mohanckj on February 6, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Suresh Raina also has hundreds in Tests, ODIs, T20Is and IPL.

  • on February 6, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    god job mahela, stick with IPL. SLC will never pay u a dime. bankrupted SLC

  • on February 6, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Jayawardene sure is the best as opener because he is potential he can do much better than than others and he also have a century in ipl and also in international cricket

  • randikaayya on February 6, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    @James Anderson: SL are not doing so badly at the moment! Won the last 2 ODI chasing 300+ against SA in SA

  • on February 6, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    i think he wud do way better as an opener..

  • Ameega on February 6, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    SPOT ON Viraj. It is not his fault if Tariq Engineer asks MJ about IPL, not CB series.

  • on February 6, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    Super Choice from DD... You never Going to get Class and Inventive Shots from another than Mahela!!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    A_HTIMAN he yaar raina didnt got a 100 in T20 internationals...he only had a one in IPL....MJ,CG and BM have 100s in tests,ODIs,T20internationals and IPL

  • on February 6, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    @James - he doesnt called up media and say this , this is a answer when media ask him a question .

    i dont think DD buy him for middle order , they buy him as opener for sure , hes great when hes open .

  • on February 5, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    Crazy! SL is doing so badly at the moment and this man can only think about IPL and its future. Please learn from Aussies man.

  • OhhhMattyMatty on February 5, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Trescothick, Pietersen, Morgan, Buttler - The world's best T20 batsmen!

  • Baundele on February 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    Delhi is not the proper team for Jayawardene. They have an abundance of quality batsmen, who are often unused and Jayawardene is just one more to the list. Birt, Warner, Finch, Ingram, Wade - all five are quality T20 batsmen. Add the all-rounders McDonald, Hopes and van der Merwe - all are capable batsmen - and the T20 specialist bowler Frylinck to the list of foreign players and I do not see how DD chooses a 'stable' team. DD needed a quality bowler and someone like Tsotsobe, Fidel Edwards or Southee could be a great buy in cricketing value. But I understand the situation, Jayawardene had to be sold and some team had to pick him. Money comes before cricket in IPL after all.

  • rakeshkanuri on February 5, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    i think he will be laeding DD

  • Decimus on February 5, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    I would love to see Virendra Sehwag & Mahela Jayawardena open the batting for DD.

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    who watch ipl anyway? :O..

  • A_HTIMAN on February 5, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Suresh Raina has acentury in each format too

  • on February 5, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    he is better off as an opener

  • siddharth_r2001 on February 5, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    The writer says Delhi "missed out on the playoffs for the first time" season. They didn't make the playoffs in 2010 either. And Mahela says "Delhi has had four good seasons". I don't quite know how finishing at the bottom of the pile amongst 10 teams (in 2011) translates to "a GOOD season"!!

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    He is one of the 4 batsmen to score a 100 in all formats, you missed Raina

  • rahulcricket007 on February 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    THIS MAN IS ALSO IN THE SAME LAGUE OF INDIAN PLAYERS . INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT PRESENT CB SERIES , HE IS PLANNING STRATEGY FOR IPL MATCHES . AUS WILL WIN THIS TOURNAMENT EASILY , WITH BOTH INDIAN & SL PLAYERS HAVE IPL IN THEIR MIND .

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    raina has also scored century in all three format including IPL

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    his job should be focusing on team and building team ,not to worry about shit ipl .how can he captain if cant sort out his prioriteis

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    DD is now on good shape. Probably they could do something now...

  • Herath-UK on February 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    IPL is good for those senior players like Sehwag,Sachin,Mahela who can earn something in the twilight of their careers before retirement.For Indian and Sri Lankan cricket IPL is a poisoned chalice. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Herath-UK on February 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    IPL is good for those senior players like Sehwag,Sachin,Mahela who can earn something in the twilight of their careers before retirement.For Indian and Sri Lankan cricket IPL is a poisoned chalice. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    DD is now on good shape. Probably they could do something now...

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    his job should be focusing on team and building team ,not to worry about shit ipl .how can he captain if cant sort out his prioriteis

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    raina has also scored century in all three format including IPL

  • rahulcricket007 on February 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    THIS MAN IS ALSO IN THE SAME LAGUE OF INDIAN PLAYERS . INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT PRESENT CB SERIES , HE IS PLANNING STRATEGY FOR IPL MATCHES . AUS WILL WIN THIS TOURNAMENT EASILY , WITH BOTH INDIAN & SL PLAYERS HAVE IPL IN THEIR MIND .

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    He is one of the 4 batsmen to score a 100 in all formats, you missed Raina

  • siddharth_r2001 on February 5, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    The writer says Delhi "missed out on the playoffs for the first time" season. They didn't make the playoffs in 2010 either. And Mahela says "Delhi has had four good seasons". I don't quite know how finishing at the bottom of the pile amongst 10 teams (in 2011) translates to "a GOOD season"!!

  • on February 5, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    he is better off as an opener

  • A_HTIMAN on February 5, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Suresh Raina has acentury in each format too

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    who watch ipl anyway? :O..