Jayawardene keen to end captaincy on a high
Mahela Jayawardene will captain Sri Lanka for the last time in the second Test against Pakistan from Sunday and has vowed to go out on a high note.
Jayawardene, who steps down as skipper with a record of 15 wins, seven defeats and five draws in 27 Tests, counts captaining the side in the 2007 World Cup final as the high point of his career.
"It has been an honour leading Sri Lanka and like every captain and player you have the good moments and bad moments," the batsman told a news conference on Saturday.
The 31-year-old has played 101 Test and 299 one-day internationals and said he had no regrets about stepping down as captain.
"I took a calculated cricketing decision. We have some players with leadership qualities. I think it is time they got a chance and I just want to be there to support and help them implement their plans," he added.
"I hope to be a better cricketer after leaving the captaincy."
Jayawardene made it clear he was keen to finish his captaincy on a winning note against Pakistan.
"We have a job to finish. We won the one-day series in Lahore last month and an away Test series win is always good for the team," he said.
Jayawardene and Pakistan captain Younis Khan were both satisfied with the pitch for the second Test at the Gaddafi stadium after a high scoring draw on a flat track in the first Test in Karachi.
"It looks to have more in it for the bowlers," said Jayawardene, who scored 240 in the first Test and shared a world record fourth-wicket partnership of 437 with Thilan Samaraweera (231).
Younis, who made a triple century in the first Test, had no doubt that Sri Lanka would come out all guns blazing.
"They will come hard because it is Jayawardene's last Test (as captain) and he would like to win it. But we are prepared for them," he said.
"We have a team that can handle every situation after a good performance in Karachi."
Pakistan is expected to debut young fast bowler Mohammad Talha in the Test.