Home > News >

Mahela Jayawardene unimpressed with England’s performance

Mahela Jayawardene said that Alaistair Cook needn't have had a spat with Shane Warne © Getty Images
Mahela Jayawardene said that Alaistair Cook needn’t have had a spat with Shane Warne © Getty Images

by Julian Guyer

Leeds: June 23, 2014

Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene questioned England’s tactics, their ability to handle pressure and the wisdom of home captain Alastair Cook’s pre-match spat with Shane Warne as the tourists moved to the brink of a memorable Test series win at Headingley.

Sri Lanka seized control of the second and final Test on Monday’s fourth day, with paceman Dhammika Prasad taking a Test-best four for 15 as England collapsed to 57 for five in pursuit of a stiff target of 350 for victory. That England had such a tough run-chase was due largely to Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews’s Test-best 160.

Sri Lanka gave their hosts an object lesson in how to play at Leeds, with Prasad rewarded for bowling a much fuller-length than his England counterparts. This has been a fractious tour, with Sri Lanka particularly upset by the reporting of One-Day International (ODI) off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for a suspect action and Mathews unapologetic for the bowler’s ‘Mankad’ run out of Jos Buttler during their 3-2 one-day series-clinching win at Edgbaston.

Jayawardene, whose side have never won a Test series in England comprising more than one match, is regarded as one of cricket’s gentlemen as well as one of its most stylish run-scorers. But the veteran batsman didn’t pull his punches after stumps on Monday. “We know who is on top and who is not,” said the 37-year-old after making a typically elegant 79 in what was probably his last Test innings in England. “We’ve seen that under pressure they’re not quite up to it so we’ll definitely look forward to tomorrow (Tuesday).”

England, perhaps carried away by a pitch with more pace than in the first Test at Lord’s — where Sri Lanka clung on for a draw with just one wicket standing — repeatedly bowled too short.

“Their idea of hurting us and hitting us on the head probably doesn’t work,” said Jayawardene. “If you’re getting that good length up front, getting the ball to do a bit and being patient, one way or another people will nick it.”

Prior to this match Cook, said “something needs to be done” about the barrage of criticism he has received regarding his captaincy from Australia great Warne. “I definitely feel for him but it doesn’t help when you have arguments with commentators and past cricketers,” Jayawardene said of Cook, who led England during their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. Mathews was aided hugely in an eighth-wicket partnership of 149 by Rangana Herath, who made a fine 48. There were times when England seemed more concerned with getting Herath on strike than dismissing Mathews.

But England batsman Ian Bell, playing in his 100th Test, defended Cook’s tactics while praising Mathews. “He’s played arguably one of the best knocks we’ve seen against us, certainly shepherding the tail,” Bell said of the all-rounder’s hundred. “But you look back with hindsight, I think if you want to stop someone like that scoring runs you get them out — don’t you? You don’t (just) try to stop them scoring. I don’t think the tactics were wrong, most teams would do that in the same situation,” said Bell.

“I don’t think Cookie could have done anything different.” He added: “It looks like we’re going to lose the Test series. If this was a five-match series, we could fight our way back in — but we can’t. Bell would be the man most likely to succeed Cook as England captain should the struggling opener quit his post. However, Bell said he expected Cook to lead England into their forthcoming five-Test series at home to India. “Absolutely, absolutely, no doubt.”

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

India vs England Live Cricket score, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: India win toss, elect to bowl

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 5 at Harare: Philip Hughes scores half-century

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: England likely XI

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

Dhawal Kulkarni to make ODI debut against England in 4th match at Edgbaston

Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014: Australia vs South Africa, 5th ODI at Harare: Philip Hughes scores half-century

Norman Gordon, world’s oldest Test cricketer passes away

England struggling in build-up to ICC World Cup 2015, admits Peter Moores

Alastair Cook can be influential in ODI cricket: Peter Moores

Australia vs South Africa, 4th ODI at Harare: Key Clashes

Tom Groube: First New Zealand-born cricketer to play a Test

India tour of England 2014: Shikhar Dhawan may be an innings away from getting back into form

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: India’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Dhawal Kulkarni to make ODI debut against England in 4th match at Edgbaston

Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014: Australia vs South Africa, 5th ODI at Harare: Philip Hughes scores half-century

Leaked: The entire plot of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Jazbaa!

Shocking: ‘hot rape scene’ used to sell a movie

Jennifer Aniston eases up her fitness regime

Xiaomi Redmi 1S manages to keep Mi 3′s tradition alive, goes out of stock in 4.2 seconds

Xiaomi Redmi 1S to go on sale on Flipkart at 2PM

Should pregnant women drink coconut water?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here