The role of a captain is comprehensive --it's not just about runs, wickets or marshalling resources on the field. It's also about making the right statements.
After Sanath Jayasuriya's horrendous cross-batted shot that resulted in his dismissal in Tuesday's semifinal, there seemed to be sharp reactions in the Sri Lankan dressing room. It also appeared that Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas exchanged words when the veteran opener returned. When a player like Jayasuriya gets out like this, such outbursts are common.
But how and when did skipper Mahela Jayawardene react? After he had led the team to an emphatic win, Jayawardene simply said: "Sanath has been in good form and all the others chipped in as well." That's a class act from the man who is fast emerging as the best captain of the tournament.
Such public statements are important for a team set to play the second most important game in its country's history. I am sure the gesture will help Jayasuriya in the final.
After Tom Moody took over the reins, Jayasuriya fell out of favour. He was dropped, an exit comparable to India's Souray-Chappell drama. But Jayasuriya was brought back and Moody made every effort to forge a new relationship with him. The other name for man-management is work ethic, without the usual ego problems.
Lanka of course, will be looking for a repeat of 1996, since, at this point, Australia look like they'll win their semifinal.