______________________________ ______________________________ ______________

Mahela Jayawardene

Jayawardene in all smiles
Jayawardene Mahela
Photo Copyright AFP

Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene. His name is tough to pronounce. But bowlers will tell you, he's tougher with a bat in his hand!

Not many batsmen have to their credit a double hundred at the age of 21. Brian Lara was 23 when he hit his double hundred. Sachin Tendulkar, a veteran of 68 test matches is yet to score a double hundred. This tells you what kind of talent Mahela Jayawardane is the master of. Batting with a style that's characteristically Sri Lankan, Mahela has been a success in both forms of the game. His average in test matches is just under 50. Jayawardane has already notched up two centuries in one dayers. When required he can turn his arm over as a part-time off spinner.

A captain's dream, Mahela has the ability to play long innings even when the chips are down. Jayawardane has scored almost all of his centuries with wickets falling around him. His temperament is exemplary, and he is not bogged down even under the toughest of circumstance.

Jayawardene showed what he was made of, much earlier, scoring a hundred on his first class debut. Since then Mahela has matured into a class act. When he began his career, he was a brilliant stroke maker, young, gutsy and with an appetite for runs. But he has grown into something much more. Mahela knows just how to pace an innings. He takes chances when required, but has the ability to play a long patient innings as well.

When Aravinda de Silva retires there will be a huge gap to fill. The one man who can fill that gap is Mahela Jayawardene.