Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/1/6/jayawardene-seeks-toughness

Jayawardene seeks toughness

UPDATED 06 January, 2013 9:20PM AEST | by Adam Lucius 1

Outgoing Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene says his team needs to toughen up mentally if it wants to match it with the leading Test nations.

After presiding over a 3-0 series loss to Australia in his last act as skipper, Jayawardene hoped the experience had battle hardened the young players set to take Sri Lankan cricket into the future.

The tourists suffered heavy losses in Hobart and Melbourne but fought all the way in going down by five wickets in Sydney.
"The Australians played some really good cricket throughout the summer. But they did give us some opportunities here and there and we were not good enough to capitalise and take control," Jayawardene said.
"When you are competing at this level I think you need to show much more character.
"As a unit we did not play good enough cricket here or play to our potential or push ourselves."
The tour did see the continual emergence of batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne and keeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal.
But Jayawardene warned they are far from the finished product.  
"Talent alone will not carry them forward. You need to identity your weaknesses and know your game better," he said.
"As long as they are willing to learn and build those big scores, they will be the future of Sri Lankan cricket.
"They just need to identity how to become a complete player. They need to toughen up.
"It's not just technical, it's mental as well."
Sri Lanka did stretch Australia at times in Sydney but how they would have loved another 50-100 runs to play with.
Set 141 to win, the hosts endured a few heart flutters before reaching the total five wickets down.   
"If we had kept them close to what our first innings score was then things could have been different," Jayawardene said.
"We let (Matthew) Wade get away and dropped a few catches.
"In the second innings we batted well but didn't put enough pressure on the Australians.
"Another 60 or 70 runs and things could have been different but we were not good enough to do that.
"That's something we need to sit down and discuss."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 06 January, 2013 9:18PM AEST

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