Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has expressed alarm at Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's statements to the media regarding team selection, and has said the players' comments revealed Sri Lanka's plans. Jayawardene has made public his desire to open the innings, while Kumar Sangakkara suggested he was disappointed to be heading home mid-series, after the selectors had chosen to rest him.
Jayasuriya said he had spoken to both Jayawardene and Sangakkara in a meeting with captain Angelo Mathews and coach Marvan Atapattu last Friday, but would now consider leaving the two senior batsmen out of selection discussions.
"By the way things are happening, we might even have to keep them out of the meetings where plans are discussed," Jayasuriya told Daily Mirror. "This is setting a dangerous precedent. What they have told media are things that we had discussed at a meeting. They were just basic ideas only. Nothing was final. When they go and tell the media as if it were all their plans, it puts us in an embarrassing situation."
Debates around Jayawardene's batting position have arisen in selection meetings over the past 18 months, with Jayasuriya among those who believe Jayawardene's promotion up the order would leave the middle-order too exposed. Jayawardene said he has repeatedly asked to be sent up the order, only stopping short of "going down on my knees to the selectors and asked for me to be allowed to open", because he feels he plays his best cricket at the top of the order.
Meanwhile, upon his departure from India, Sangakkara had said: "Nobody likes to leave a series in the middle, especially when losing". He had also suggested Dinesh Chandimal bat at No. 3 in his absence, and Lahiru Thirimanne take up a spot at No. 6.
"Those are decisions that the national selectors should take, not the players," Jayasuriya said. "If the players are going to do our job, what is the point of having selectors there at all?"
"I had a one to one chat with Sanga and he did not protest the decision at all. Selectors had already decided when they named the squad for the India tour to rest Sanga and Dhammika Prasad for the last two ODIs. Sanga keeps wickets and then needs to bat long. It is a tall order and with so many fixtures against England and New Zealand coming up, we need to manage the seniors carefully. It was a case of preserving him for the long schedule ahead rather than looking for a win at all expense."
Jayasuriya has leveled similar criticism at Jayawardene and Sangakkara before. In March, Jayasuriya had said he felt "very let down" by the players, when they had effectively announced they would quit T20 internationals, before they had confirmed their retirements with the selectors.
"Discussing plans with media is not the ideal way to face the challenges," Jayasuriya said.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando