Jayawardene to step down as captain after tour
Skipper Michael Clarke has vowed there will be no complacency in the Test series with Sri Lanka, insisting Australia will improve on their recent performances against South Africa.
The Australians had the better of the opening two Tests against the World No.1 Proteas only to be crushed by 309 runs in the series decider in Perth last week. Sri Lanka are ranked sixth in the world, have not won in 10 Tests in Australia over 25 years and are rated outsiders to upset Clarke’s team in the three-Test series, beginning in Hobart today. Clarke said the third-ranked Australia were focused only on beating Sri Lanka in the first Test since 168-Test great Ricky Ponting’s retirement. “…Our goal is not to come out and play the same way against Sri Lanka as we did against South Africa. We have to learn from that series, take the positives — and I thought there were a lot of positives — and the areas where we need to get better, we need to make sure we do that…”
Clarke defends Warner
Clarke also defended the daredevil batting style of opener David Warner, whose second innings dismissal for 29 against South Africa in Perth triggered criticism. “The one thing we have to understand about Davey, is that the same ball that got him out in Perth, we were all applauding in Adelaide when it went over slips for four. That’s the way he plays…” he said.Jayawardene to step down
Mahela Jayawardene said on Thursday he will give up the captaincy after Sri Lanka’s current Test and one-day tour of Australia, with Angelo Mathews seen as his likely replacement.
The 35-year-old said it was time for a younger leader and nominated Mathews, his vice-captain, as ideal to assume the role. Jayawardene’s second stint as captain began in January, when he was called in to replace Tillakaratne Dilshan and he committed to a 12-month tenure, which expires at the end of the current tour. “I took over the captaincy for 12 months and that ends after this series,” said Jayawardene, who is lining up for his 136th Test against Australia in Hobart on Friday. “I don’t want to continue captaining Sri Lanka after this tour so this will be my last. I hope I don’t get any SOS calls later on.
Jayawardene, who has scored 10,640 Test runs at 50.18, said Mathews, at 25, was the obvious choice to replace him as captain. “Angelo is the one everyone has earmarked for the job and I think he’s good enough,” he said.AFP