Hailed as the most stylish batsmen in world cricket, Mahela Jayawardene is set to play his last Test match at Colombo. Jayawardene bid farewell to Test cricket following his retirement from T20 Internationals after the T20 world cup in March.
Jayawardene has been a prolific batsman for Sri Lanka. He has been recognized by the team to have played a key role in contributing to the maturity and evolution of younger players. He also captained for the team, as well as trained Angelo Mathews to take over the captaincy. Jayawardene made his debut in a match against India in 1997 and showcased a truly magnificent record hailed to be at the first class level. Even when he was still playing school cricket, Jayawardene's skills have already been noticed by sports enthusiasts.
Jayawardene is regarded as one of the most elegant batsmen of his generation. He has scored a mammoth 11,760 runs at an average of over 50 runs in Test matches. His drive to score big hundreds has been widely recognized by his fans and the public. He was involved in the famous 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakara at SSC, in which Jayawardene achieved his highest score of 374.
With 34 centuries, seven double tons and 202 catches, Jayawardene has been acclaimed as the complete Test player package. He led his team to achieve 18 wins, as well as gained recognition as an athletic slip fielder in the Murali era. His captaincy stints have been consistently successful. Moreover, Jayawardene's calm yet authoritative demeanor helped his team reach the final stage of the 2007 World Cup. He even willing to tookover the captaincy from Tilakaratne Dilshan in the 2011/12 season. However, management worried over Jayawardene's away records because scores indicated weaknesses in his technique.
Jayawardene is currently playing his last Test match against Pakistan in Colombo. His 2,863 runs have been the most scored by any batsman in the world on a single ground. He is said to be leaving the team in good spirits, even permitting the group to seek a replacement for his number four position.
His captain, Angelo Mathews, only had praises for Jayawardene in an interview held on the night of his last Test match. "We can't do his service justice with words. As a team we're very sad he's retiring. The best thing we can do is play well in this match and win it for Mahela," Mathews said, as reported by cricinfo.
"There are so many things we will miss. He is a real fighter. If you go into a warm-up match with him, he'll still try to fight and win. That's the kind of character that he is, and he's an unbelievable player," the captain added.