Test cricket will be the poorer after Mahela Jayawardene's decision to retire from the game. There have been fewer finer sights than watching the Sri Lankan stylishly carve up bowling attacks of the world.
With the advent of T20 cricket and heavy bats, the elegance was beginning to vanish from the game but Jayawardene kept it going with strokes of such purity, that even the opposition had no choice but to applaud, albeit, silently.
He and Sangakkara have carried Sri Lanka's batting over the last decade or so, and his retirement will leave a big hole to be filled. It won’t be long before his good friend Sangakkara also decides he has had enough, and Sri Lanka will then realise how much they meant to their team and their cricket.
Rangana Herath gave the perfect send off to Jayawardene by bowling Pakistan out and winning the series for the Lankans. In the process, he also became the first left handed bowler to take nine wickets in a Test innings. Herath's methods are simple.
He bowls a good line and has great control, and if the pitch is doing something, then he is pretty much impossible to survive against. Sarfraz Ahmed did that to some extent and got a hundred, but the rest of the Pakistani batsmen did not show the same application and resistance, and Herath ended up with 14 wickets in the match.
India’s batsmen also showed little appetite for a fight as they gifted their wickets away to Chris Jordan who ended up with four wickets in the second innings in the last Test.
Those will probably be the easiest Test wickets Jordan will get in his Test career. Jordan admits that he is a work in process and hopes to get better the more Test cricket he plays.
This is something that India’s batsmen should be hurt about that they gave their wickets to a bowler ,who, just one Test earlier was spraying one ball wide on the off side and another down the leg side and who was thus short of confidence.
Getting out to Anderson and Broad was understandable since they are world class bowlers, but getting out to Moeen Ali, Woakes and Jordan did suggest that India’s batsmen did not apply themselves as much as they should have.
Rangana Herath, for his 14 wickets in Mahela Jayawardene's last Test match, is the Ceat International cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group