Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka's captain and leading Test run scorer

As a captain, you love to be challenged

The win against England didn't come easy for Sri Lanka; which made it that much more special

Mahela Jayawardene

March 31, 2012

Comments: 81 | Text size: A | A

Mahela Jayawardene celebrates a well-fought hundred, Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle, 1st day, March 26, 2012
"You can score doubles or triples, but if you do not win the game it does not feel as great" © AFP
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Having had time to reflect on our victory in the first Test it feels even more special. We knew how important the opening match of a short series would be, and it was a huge challenge to take on the No. 1 team having not had much preparation because we were coming straight from the Asia Cup. There is a sense of relief that it didn't cost us, but we had to dig very deep and it's credit to all the players for the work they put in in the days before the match.

We made a few mistakes, but probably fewer than England. Good teams capitalise on mistakes, so you have to keep them to a minimum.

I thought we won the crucial moments. We managed to get a decent score on the board in the first innings and then bowled them out cheaply while the pitch was still good. When we collapsed again in the second innings, we managed to get some good partnerships from the lower order, which proved vital. The extra 60-70 runs we had was the difference.

I was delighted to make a significant contribution to the victory, and my hundred in the first innings will certainly go down as one of my best. When I look back on my centuries it's the ones that contribute to victory I savour the most. You can score doubles or triples, but if you do not win the game it does not feel as great. This time we were in trouble when I came in and we really had to pull ourselves through. But it wasn't just me. I could not have done it without help from the lower order; credit should also go to them. It was a good team effort. Even some of the guys who didn't do well with the bat pulled off fantastic catches, which were just as important.

Since Murali retired we have had to adapt to how we play Test cricket. It has taken time but I think we are making some real progress. We now need to squeeze every last run we can out of the lower order, which is why their performance in this Test was so pleasing. Everyone understands the value of their wicket and that they can have an impact. There is added responsibility on each player; bowlers need to score runs and in the field everyone needs to work that little bit harder do get us through. We have put in a lot of hard work and it's starting to pay off. As a unit we will improve.

Having a bowler like Murali certainly made captaincy easier, but I am really enjoying the challenge in front of me. It motivates me. As a captain you love to be challenged. You need to have a game plan and ensure your bowlers stick to it. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't. I hadn't captained the team for a long time and touring Australia was a great challenge, and that helped me during the first Test.

 
 
I know people were discussing the tactics I used in the second innings by putting fielders deep to cut off the boundaries. If we had lost I would probably have been criticised for being defensive, but I couldn't let the game run away from us
 

I knew I had Rangana [Herath] as my most experienced bowler and I spoke to him before the match to tell him there would be a lot of responsibility on his shoulders but that he had to enjoy it. I said that whatever happened, whether we won, lost or drew, he needed to enjoy the contest and not put too much pressure on himself. He responded wonderfully. Suraj Randiv also did a great job. He has been in and out of the side of the last 12 months and this will give him a lot of confidence. It's tough in our conditions for fast bowlers, but Chanaka Welegedara and Suranga Lakmal ran in all the time. Overall I'm quite happy with what I've got and the challenge it gives me.

I know people were discussing the tactics I used in the second innings by putting fielders deep to cut off the boundaries. If we had lost I would probably have been criticised for being defensive, but I couldn't let the game run away from us, especially when there was an attacking batsman like Matt Prior in the middle. We had also dropped a couple of chances earlier; if we had taken them I would have been able to attack for longer.

Although the bowlers dominated the match it was a good pitch, and when the ball got softer, around the 60-over mark, it became tough to take wickets. I needed to buy us some time before the new ball, which I knew would create more chances, and so it proved. Jonathan Trott played superbly, but he's not an attacking batsman, so I wanted to try to dry him up for as long as possible. It was a wonderful innings from him, but I always knew we'd get a chance.

We are very confident going into the second Test but know we have to improve. We certainly didn't play the perfect game. It will be a historic occasion at the P Sara Oval next week, the ground where Sri Lanka played their first Test 30 years ago. However, it's not just about the last 30 years but the many years before that, when cricket was so important to Sri Lanka and for all the cricketers who played for Ceylon, who helped put us where we are now. I'll be very proud to be on the field on Tuesday and even prouder if we can claim a series victory.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is the country's leading Test run-scorer

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Posted by   on (April 3, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

@Jerry Louis mate, I think someone else has already shared what you wrote, so wouldn't it be repetition? Don't be so careless dude, based on what you went on a limb and said Sri Lankans are flat track bullies, matter of fact it was officially stamp on India recently when India visited England and Australia. Given India tour of England was in summer which was quite easy compare to season, albeit India lost miserably WHITE WASH in other words. In Australia India hadn't been won a single match against Australia for more than a month till we Sri Lanka came and beat Aussie thrice in a row within a short period of two weeks. So my friend if you are considering late performance, there are you go! Indians are the FLAT TRACK BULLIES NOT us. Cheers mate!

Posted by   on (April 3, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

Testing kindly ignore! Guys who are talking about india's performace outside india, We have done well abraod between 2002 and 2011; We have won the series in Engalnd, Windies, Pakisthan..wont the tests in SA , Aus..drwan serieses with them..SL are real flat track bullies...Jayawardene can only score runs in SL...checks the stats..With Maurali gone, Malinga is ready to go SL is going back to 1980s..

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

I simply love how this guy approaches the game. A true modern sportsman with the classical touch. Always a fan of you, Mahela. All the best.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

My previous comment was a reply @S.Jagernath whom is my friend from India. @Venki_indian stats are itself overrated mate, otherwise how come England remained # 1 team despite losing last four test matches they played and how come India remained # 3 after losing 8 test matches in a row. Can u just enlighten me as to how you claim Sri Lanka is overrated cos we r at the bottom of the test rank, was that the logic?

Anyway you seemed to be having more and enough fun by dishing out Sri Lankan cricket but my friend I hope everything is well for India. Nice to read your comments cos it gave me the laugh of the day! Cheers!

Posted by Wolfpac on (April 2, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

Dear Mahela, I don't know if you do read these comments, but just in case you do, I want to let you know your just a great cricketer and human being, dont worry about these haters who have written here, for me ur better than Sachin or Viru etc because your centuries are match winning ones, which is more important. If you were someone who went for individual runs you would be in the top 5 am sure, but you did not and sacrificed the statisitcs for your country, I enjoy those moments that you have provided to us as fans. Making us love the game again after those dismal 6 months with Dilly, we enjoy your batting and captaincy good luck for the next game and please don't loose your wicket so early because your a pleasure to watch when your batting

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

@venki_indian >> If you are not interested in Sri Lanka,why did you read our captain's article? Can your so called very good captain Dhoni write or even talk like this? Sri Lanka has the most intelligent and educated players in world criket,in Sangakkara and Mahela. Indian are idiotic slum morons. Shut up and mind your own business

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

@mate you got to be kidding me :D Your list of batsmen who are currently active in test cricket that are better than Jayawardene is just I don't know, maybe baseless, no offence mean though.

Let me clear up one thing for you; yes you are correct they all are active but active doesn't make any batsmen better than any other batsmen. Matter of fact Mahela is an active batsmen too in Test as well as ODI (Maybe you weren't clear as to what you were articulating :D)

Anyway in your list Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag this shows clearly you have been out of the test cricket for quite some time.

If my mind serves right Ponting is there anymore (= hence, automatically eliminated from your list) Sachin (took more than 10 Test matches to score his 100th test which he finally got against Bangladesh that's also a losing knock) Virender Shewag, needless to say has been axed from the team under the guise of resting. Do I need to go any further to show how bad your comment is?

Posted by Venki_indian on (April 2, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

@ram Prashanth excellent stats man..not only jayawrdene is overrated..SL is a overrated team...They are on the bottom half of test rankings..only Bdesh,Windies,Newzeland behind them..LOL @John Walker Fun to see ur comments..by the way i support SL in Second test

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Venki_indian 26 in 80 years (ind) and 14 in 30 years (sl). Who's better

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (April 2, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

@Ram Prasath.. keep it going man!!

Posted by Venki_indian on (April 2, 2012, 0:36 GMT)

and some pple are talking abt ind vs SL out at nuetral venues..check the record; India have won 26 mataches on neutral venues, Srilka 14..you are nowhere near guys..celebrate the SA test you have won.. :)

Posted by Venki_indian on (April 2, 2012, 0:25 GMT)

we might has had bad run in lst 6 monhts, Guys who are talking about india's performace outside india, We have done well abraod between 2002 and 2011; We have won the series in Engalnd, Windies, Pakisthan..wont the tests in SA , Aus..drwan serieses with them..SL are real flat track bullies...Jayawardene can only score runs in SL...checks the stats..With Maurali gone, Malinga is ready to go SL is going back to 1980s..

Posted by Sinhaya on (April 1, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

@Ram Prasath, Sri Lanka have also registered 2 test wins in England as well so far!

Posted by PrasadGunawardane on (April 1, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

@Ram Prasath : It is so funny to read your comments...If i open the list of records for India in recent overseas tour:> Lost 4 Test matches in England, lost all 5 ODIs in England, lost all T20Is in England, lost all 4 Test matches in Australia and Failed to qualify for the finals in CB series in Australia.. How shame these records from India...You are talking about Mahela.. You know Mahela is a well respected player in the world with centuries in every continent in the world and if Mahela hits a century, SL win in more than 90% times. Would you believe that Tendulkar is yet to hit an ODI century in West Indies and his century to India winning percentage is less than 63%. Indians are flat track bullies and Indian pitches neither swing nor spin. SL have no flat dead strips. SLankan pitches are either spin or swing (Kandy and Dambulla are swinging pitches.).. Rather than looking at Sri Lankans, its better you to analyze Indian players found by around 1.2 billion population Mr.Ram Prasath

Posted by Sinhaya on (April 1, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

@Ram Prasath, Sri Lanka has won tests overseas. Remember Sri Lanka has played tests so far for 30 years in contrast to India which played test cricket since 1932. We have won tests in West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa indeed. By the time we also end up playing cricket for 50 or so years, more and more wins will be recorded overseas. Have you forgotten that India took 19 years to get their first test win after getting status in 1932? Sri Lanka took barely 4 years to register it's 1st test win. Sri Lankan pitches are not dead. Mahela can score very well on spinning pitches as he proved with his 105 against Australia in the Galle dust bowl last year and the latest 180.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

@nutcutlet- I am told he is an excellent golfer.

Posted by Shaun_wick on (April 1, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

@Ram Prasath: Indian team needs to wash fully and fill with new players. You seems you have issues with SL team. Otherwise why you were talking about Indian team on this page. I guess no one does need to hear about India here. Dont worry when Indian team will play in India again, you can comment nicely on cricinfo. Because they win only in India..... !

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 1, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Mahela ticks all the boxes for me: a superb batsman who plays with a disciplined panache (by that I mean he is immensely effective, but still very easy on the eye); a player who realises that double/triple tons are worth little when divorced from their match-context & a captain who clearly inspires his side and leads by example. He relishes the celebral aspects of captaincy by making canny use of his bowling resouces & plays to a plan that his team is fully aware of, because his communication skills are second-to-none, on and off the field (see his references to conversations in this article). Then the man writes likes like a professional journalist from a quality newspaper! I am sure that he plays chess very well and would make an outstanding legal advocate! It's unfair that one man should be so amply blessed! Perhaps he's not a musician, but he's certainly a linguist & an ambassador! ( Now someone will tell me that he's an accomplished pianist!)

Posted by Cannuck on (April 1, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

It's amazing how Indians get rattled up whenever Mahela is praised. So does others including some SL haters, who buy into a popular myth of he is only good in SL. Granted he is better at home, but who isn't? All SL batsmen share this, including great Aravinda (away 36.06). It's one thing to compare MJ to Sanga, who has a better ave. away (away 47.17), but comparing any SL to an Indian is total BS, as INDIA play more away games than SL. In fact considering this fact, one could argue their ave should be higher than what it is now. FYI Mahela's away ave is 40.11 & home is 63.50. His worst ave is in NZ 27.71 (not counting UAE). Guess where his highest ave out side of SL? Yeah, it's in INDIA 62.80. He has 6 centuries against them (2nd behind ENG 7). So no wonder most Indians hate him. One thing clearly proves is that since he ave highest in IND, & he is known as a flat track bully, INDIA surely has FLAT TRACKS too!! BTW, all these stats come from Indian's BIBLE of stats, cricinfo statsguru!

Posted by Robin-Hood on (April 1, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

Any one can score hundreds and centuries of centuries, but you can't win matches for the team.but only Great players can score hundreds when others go down cheaply and defend whatever the total on the board. That's why Mahela is so special.

Posted by Sinhaya on (April 1, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

@s.jagernath, I have seen a lot of your anti Lankan comments. I know how much you prayed for Sri Lanka to lose 3-0 in the tests in South Africa but it was horribly wrong. I can imagine how much you got depressed after Sri Lanka thrashed South Africa in Durban to create history! Sri Lanka is a very good side and that is why they managed to beat England in Galle.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

@Darshan Dias Abeysinghe: Well India has defeated Srilanka on 8 out of 10 occasions when the two have met outside subcontinent. India has won a CB Series(2009), Thrashed England in England(2007)... What has SRI LANKAN CRICKET done outside ASIA??... Well You guys won your first Test in SA only this year... Yet to register any in Aus... Sangakkara is the only Srilankan batsman who can bat anywhere in the world with his full potential. Mahela can score runs only in the dead pitches of Lanka...

Posted by PrasadGunawardane on (April 1, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

I am repeating that Thirimanna is not the option for SL as the Test opener and this is just demolishing his skills of nudging and scoring run. If Paranavithana is also not in the expected standard to this role, why wouldn't SL try with Upul Thranga. Upul has been opening the innings in any form of the game, right from his school time and he has proved his capability in numerous occasions in International level as well. If this partially fit Mathews comes in to the 11; it creates a serious question of whom is he replacing for. Mathews is coming as a 'batsman' only after his recovery and then Chandimal will be removed from the side to give him a place. This is going to be totally harsh; the youngster who played absolutely well in his first 4 Test innings in SA is gonna be removed due to fair performances in Galle? I would say, we don't need partially fit Mathews for the 2nd Test since we have enough players in the middle order. SLC must understand where the real problem is->OPENER

Posted by Mark00 on (April 1, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

If Mahela stopped playing the "guide" to short deliveries outside off-stump, his number 1 way of getting out caught behind or at slips, and played a proper late cut instead, he'd be averaging 75+. The "guide" is a cheap, lazy shot for no-talent players to get cheap, lazy runs. He must not have had as much confidence in his youth as he now plays that shot reflexively. He needs to shelve it once and for all and play actual strokes to those deliveries as other top batsmen do. If he can reprogram himself in that way, he'll be the best in the world.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka....Win the next match & whitewash England... To win next match Mahela & Sanga contribution is much important, Samaraweera must come to the track..Go.....Go....Lions......

Posted by annon on (April 1, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

i would have liked it more if mahela had discussed the 2nd test at psara; the team selections, role of mathews, bowling options, the batter/bowler mix- whether you go with a 7/4 team combination as in the first test or to improve bowling strengthe to 6/5 etc. These are the things least discussed in local media. I wish someone with a sharp cricket mind (but independent, without political bias) would fill the gap. At least let us discuss these things to put pressure on SLC uncles.

Posted by randikaayya on (April 1, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

@S.Jagernath: Lol mate, by your own admission you guys are frustrated! Nuff said about Indians commenting here!

Mayya, way to go bro, you are the man!!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Mahele is one of the best captain in SL..Thats no doubt. But also he always with the help of his senior players like Sanga , Dili n others. All the best for SL for the clean sweep.

Posted by Shaun_wick on (April 1, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

Dear Indian fans, I can't understand why you guys are wasting time on commenting on SL teams. It clearly show how SL team is a challenge to other countries in the world. SPECIALLY TO INDIAN TEAM IN ASIAN... LOL. Unfortunately Indian team can perform well in India only except occasional situations. I think SL team is well balance team in all format. They got good all rounders, aggressive players, pretty much good bawling attack and very good fielding attack. We know they don't have Murali or Vass in their side. They are truly talented world class players. Any country may has one or two players like them for their life time. Like Shane Warne, Magrath in Australian side. Anyhow good luck SL team. In my point of view, SL team need at least another attacking bowler like Malinga. That will fulfill the team. Great performance SL. Cheers up....!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (April 1, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

@KAYS789 . OUT OF SACHIN 'S 100 CENTURIES , 53 TIMES INDIA HAD WON . 1 HAS BEEN A TIE (WC MATCH AGAINST ENG) , 21 HAS BEEN DRAWS . ONLY 25 TIMES INDIA HAS LOST .

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (April 1, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

It was a great innings by Mahela, this innings and win cemented mehla's position as one of the all time legends in test cricket. Great job Sri Lanka , it's not easy to beat #1 ranked team in the world at all. Great job captain

Posted by Kays789 on (April 1, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

to all those indian haters... if you want to talk about overrated batsmen look no further than your own team. starting with the so called 'god'. never seen a batsman who played so much for his own record and did so little for the team's cause. not even half of his centuries have earned the team a win. thats the worst record of its kind for any half decent batsman. cannot field or lead a team to save a life and yet somehow he's 'god'? now thats the epitome of overrated.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (April 1, 2012, 2:25 GMT)

Mahela is a technically sound player and he has got many strokes all around the wicket. However due to one single weakness, he throws his wicket very early specially in bouncy tracks. If he could capitalize on that he would be unstoppable. Thats why he has got many big hundreds behind him. I feel he should be bit aggressive at the beginning as he does in ODI's today to overcome his early weaknesses. Then he would be far more better in Bouncy tracks too. GOOD LUCK MAHELA

Posted by the_blue_android on (April 1, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

11,000 runs in test cricket, 6,500 of them in one ground!!

Posted by Daran9 on (April 1, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

Dear Cricinfo Readers! Mahela need not to prove to any one, how good he is, first of all as a batsman, fielder and as a captain. If you are not sure how good he is in any of the department I mentioned above, please go and check his stats before you comment about him. Stats never lie! If you combined all his skills,( don't forget he could bowl as well if needed) he is probably the best ever world cricket ever seen with the best character and right attitude for a professional sportsman.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (March 31, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

Wonderful to here Mahela Jayawardene's thoughts on the first test. I thought he Captained Sri Lanka superbly and led from the front. Oh by the way congratulations Capt. Mahela Jayawardena and Sri Lankan team on your victory in the first test! A wonderful effort. Congrats Sri Lanka. Well played.

Posted by Archiecook on (March 31, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Posted by Archiecook on (March 31 2012, 16:09 PM GMT) Tharanga would be hand full in the batting line up and also Sri Lanka needs a genuine fast baller in the line up just in case. Eranga would be perfect in the line instead of prasad. Sri Lanka could not rely on prasad to fill the lapse in the bowling department. I would suggest Mahela to go with chandimal/tharanga, dilshan, kumar, Mahela, samaraweera,Mathews, prasanna,randiv,herath,lakmal,eranga. Don't forget Mahela it is Sri lanka's match to lose than England's comeback to level the series. This a golden opportunity for Sri Lanka to be recognise among the very best in the world. The media and the world press is on this decisive game and I wish Mahela shall look hard on these comments. Posted by shameerpvt on (March 31 2012, 16:05 PM GMT) dammika prasad is fast & fit, but he seems not the bowler to trouble the batsmen consistently. lakmal too is not effective as such. shaminda eranga seems a thinking bowler. now, we need a left arm p

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

mahela is a great batsmen he allways play for the team not only test in odi too remember the wc 100 that almost made india loose if he only made few more runs

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

@ jager, You can make lists as long as to the moon, but cannot dilute the QUALITY of MJ

Posted by Ubaidaleem on (March 31, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

Mahela is an extremely talented batsman. very elegant & pleasing to the eye..... not the best batsman in the world but in full flow he is as good as any. As far as his captaincy is concern I think he is the best captain of his generation and head and shoulders above any one in world cricket today. I wish Pakistan can find a good captain like him soon, if they do, you wont find surprises on top spot in all the formats of the game. Good luck for the next test Mahela

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Mahela n Sanga----The two greAts.....Besides this,Sanga N MAhela r good captaiNS As compare to Dilshan...I don't know why they Hv given resiGnations earlier...EVEb Sri Lanka went to fiNALS in their CaptainCy...Both of theM r good n Sri Lanka hv gooD talented PLAyers Like ChandiMAL,MathewS,Kapugedara n Then Mixture of SAnga-Mahela N DiLSHan....Best of Luck TO Sri LankaN teaM....They r true fightErs....AustraliaN TOUR is big exaMPLE of their Fighting skiLLS.... Regards Ali Hassan Raja From Pakistan....

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

Lot of people don't realise what mahela brings to the table, not just his grate captancy he brings himself in too he is a grate batsmen has a unique technique with his clean hits and pure timing and touch of aggretion. How about that?

Posted by Gloryof96 on (March 31, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

For me, Mahela is right up there with the best as great captains ...... but the best no matter what anyone says is Ranatunga .... a great captain for me is not guys like Waugh, Ponting, Lloyd, Bradman, Benaud, etc, etc who had all 100% talent which ever direction you look ..... a great captain is to get a bunch of guys to perfrom beyond their expectations showing direction, that is why Worrell and Border ranks higher than Lloyd, Richards, Taylor, Waugh or Ponting in my list ....

Posted by spas on (March 31, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Indian fans, pls stop wasting your energy by hating Sri Lankan team and captain, in the next tournament Sri Lanka will not eliminate india.... :)

Posted by smalishah84 on (March 31, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

Well played SL. I wish you all the best for the series. Jaya is a pretty decent captain. Let's see if he can maintain this run. Makes for fantastic watching. Lol English batsmen though

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

You're showing the world how the Captaincy is done , having a relatively inexperienced and ordinary bowling attack .....

Well done Mahela JAYA...!!!

Posted by S.Jagernath on (March 31, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

@mcsdl...I'd like to name a few batsmen who are currently active in test cricket that are better than Jayawardene.Younis Khan,Jacques Kallis,Graeme Smith,Hashim Amla,Shivnarine Chanderpaul,Jonathan Trott,Sachin Tendulkar,Kumar Sangakkara,Ricky Ponting,Virender Sehwag,Alistair Cook,Mike Hussey,Michael Clarke & A.B De Villiers.Thats a long list of better batsmen than Jayawardene.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (March 31, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

The reason why Indian fans & people that admire quality batsmen get irritated about the Mahela Jayawardene situation is that Sri Lankan fans & people like Tony Greig speak of him as he is great & yet he has done so little.Jayawardene is not great,he is a good batsmen.If Sri Lankan cricket fans select their descriptions of Jayawardene carefully,others would not become frustrated.

Posted by Perera32 on (March 31, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

@PrajithR: Mahela has played 108 Tests away from ENG,SA,AUS and 22 in ENG,SA,AUS. Playing 20 odd tests and having an average of 32 isn't that bad. It was a long time ago when he played in SA before the recent tour and hardly played that many against AUS in AUS. He will perform well in the AUS tour coming up next year, we saw a preview of what to expect in the CB Series.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

i don't know why some Indians are commenting about Mahela's overseas test record. please just look at your own teams overseas test record...8 out of 8 lost, is that even possible...

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

@nilankaraja mahela is just started...indian team did not start yet..huh...dont worry Indian fans..dont worry

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

My only concern about Mathews is can he stay healthy for a long period of time? From the short international career he had, He has been missing in the all the big occasions. I think we need to look elsewhere for a long term team leader......

Posted by Balumekka on (March 31, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Why these Indian fans worrying so much about Mahela? If he is good enough for Sri Lankan fans, thats it. After India's 8 consecutive tests losses away, still many pots call kettle black!

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

@timtom look at the number of matches played in Sri Lanka 71. As opposed to 10 in England being the next highest. So explain to me how you expect him to score runs abroad if he does not get opportunity to play abroad???? This being a career entering its 15th year its absurd that he has played only 10 matches in england, 4 in Aus, NZ and WI. If more opportunity was given to SL maybe they won't embarrass themselves with white wash after white wash like India in Eng and Aussie.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

@ Ram Prasath ironic that the team you support can't win a game outside the subcontinent let alone score runs

Posted by mcsdl on (March 31, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

I'm asking all those mahela haters name a batsman in current test arena who is better than him (considering both HOME and AWAY scores)? I would say Kallis, Sanga, Sachin (AB and Amla seems better away from home, but havent played enough tests to consider at the same level wid Mahela). Another reason why Mahela is so great the presense, confidence and leadership he brings to Sri Lankan team. You cant measure them qualities with individual stats. He is a tactical genius and a calm, classy and ruthless operator, undoubtably the best captain around in world cricket, as a cricketer in general there are only a few you could mention along side him..!

Posted by nilb on (March 31, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Please indian fans. Don't worry about Mahela. He just started to play well in bouncy pitches. At least SL team is not an entire team of dead pitch heroes.

Posted by Gloryof96 on (March 31, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

@ Stormy16, I agree with your statement and to be consistant with your statement, you take out the runs produced by the last 3 wickets of Eng 1st inn, of 198 will read like 95!! ... so lets not go on about this topic since there are many occations I remember not so long ago how the Eng tail stood up on so many occations where the top oreder failed and even that didnt save them from losing the mtach but at least this time it saved us

Posted by Sinhabahu on (March 31, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Mahiya, you are the Subotai of the cricket field.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

In fact, He is the most overrated player in Test cricket, Out of his just 30 Centuries, 24 have come in flat sub-continent tracks, of which 21 at home, of which 10 at a ground. His BATTING AVERAGE outside ASIA is <35. But in asia, 57.3... What has is done to earn such name??credit??? Nothing!!! JUST OVERRATED!!!

Posted by PrajithR on (March 31, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

@Perera32.... Everybody knows Mahela is a tiger in subcontinent.... The critics were after him because of his poor performance in bouncy pitches.... Check statsguru for his record in AUS, SA, ENG (3 counties having fast bowling friendly pitches & also an attack to utilize them).... It reads, Tests -22, AVG- 31.76, 100s -3.... Why should critics hide because of his performance at Galle?

Posted by timtom on (March 31, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Come on Mahela..Reserve these comments when scored outside home..... Next match another 200+ is sure to come.....9K out of 10K in srilanka....

Posted by stormy16 on (March 31, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

The win was great as was to see Mahela back in the runs but SL still has issues with the batting whcih is supposed to be their strength. For over a year SL's batting has been uncertain and suseptible to collapse. Time and again SL's batting has seen them chase the game from day one. Galle was no different till Eng did one better first by dropping Mahela and then a batting collapse of their own. Thanks to the lower order batting, SL got up a stiff target but if your game plan is for the lower order to get you runs its flawed. The top order just has to deliver decent runs to put some pressure on the opponets and give the bowlers a chance to attack.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Shaminda Eranga Shaminda Eranga Shaminda Eranga

Posted by Balumekka on (March 31, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Mahela has a genius cricketing brain! However, Mahela's most important task is to guide Mathews to be the next captain.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

what a guy ,absolute legend and role model ..

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

What happened to Nuwan Pradeep!!

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

most over rated captain....

Posted by Perera32 on (March 31, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

So where are all those critics who told Mahela to focus on his batting?. Mahela is the best captain in world cricket for sure and is in great form with the bat, as we saw in Australia and now Sri lanka. The Pitch is Galle is brilliant, That was the most exciting Test match I've seen in the sub continent in the last 5 years. More pitches like galle please, so much better than seeing 600/3 dec, 500/4 dec.

Posted by ButWhatDoIKnow on (March 31, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

In deed, it WAS a good pitch. The curator at Galle had done a superb job I thought. After the SL Vs AUS test on a very dry surface last year and the criticism that followed, it is commendable that Mr. Warnaweera (Curator) didn't over-compensate. 17 wickets may have fallen in the 2nd day, but the respective batsmen will be the first to tell you that it was mostly down to their own errors that it was so.

Posted by Tejitha on (March 31, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

Well done SL... Beat the englands next match tooo

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

Play Shaminda Eranga please, he's way better than Lakmal or Prasad

Posted by CKfrombrisbane on (March 31, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Great win ! I think we realy to much on spiners. I think we need to come up with strong pace attack to be able to make the team balance and more powerfull. I do not know why still Saminda Eranga is not playing.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (March 31, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

mahela jayawardne 's leadership reminds me of sourav ganguly 's leadership qualitties .

Posted by NIZWAAN on (March 31, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Good Luck on the 2nd Test Mahela ! I can sleep well at night these days knowing Sri Lankan cricket is in your safe hands! Cheers mate!

Posted by shajw on (March 31, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Mahela, I don't know if you read the comments but if you do, there is something I'm curious to know and that is why you didn't give Randiv a slip, which one would have thought would give him another attacking option, especially given the bounce he was getting with his height, as well as the fact that he is capable of slipping in the occasional doosra.

The commentators certainly had a lot to say about your field but, as Graeme Swann tweeted, the on-field captain doesn't have to do what the commentators say and, at the end of the day, your tactics on the field got the wickets and won the game...

Good luck for the second test and hear's hoping for a 2-0 series win!

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

weldone Mahela. superb captancy!

Posted by AadeeSL on (March 31, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

Leaders are born, they can't produce.You should have NEVER EVER left your captaincy Mahela.All the best for the future

Posted by baiju.shah on (March 31, 2012, 4:42 GMT)

How can this victory be called as "the first after Murali left"? What about the win over South Africa in the boxing day test?

Posted by Black_Rider on (March 31, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

I don't have words to say Mahela.....YOU ARE A BORN LEADER.....One of the best....

Posted by   on (March 31, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

J'wardane,at the present, is the most brilliant captain in the world! His captaincy in Australia is laudable. SL cricket was in shatters after 2011 WC and nobody gave them a chance in CB series but he was simply brilliant in CB eries. And his innings in Galle was one of the bests in recent times! He took the team from nowhere to a safe position and used Herath and Randiv well.

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Mahela JayawardeneClose
Mahela Jayawardene Elegant and prolific, Mahela Jayawardene is easily one of the best batsmen around. By a fair margin he is the highest run-getter for Sri Lanka, and on his way to becoming an all-time great. His excellent slip catching, and sharp captaincy - until early in 2009 - made him a big contributor to Sri Lanka's cause. He and Kumar Sangakkara hold the world record for the highest partnership in Tests, 624 for the third wicket, against South Africa in Colombo. Jayawardene is one of cricket's gentlemen: well-mannered, humble, intelligent and articulate.

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