Mahela Jayawardene predicts that Australia will win the Test series 2-1 against India

It’s difficult to predict, but being a Sri Lankan, I’m hoping that Australia can go all the way. Probably a 2-1 win for Australia

Mahela Jayawardene; Credit: Twitter/@ShanPradeep_
By Kshitij Ojha | Feb 6, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

India has not lost a Test series at home since 2012, and the last time they lost to Australia at home was in 2004, but Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene believes the Aussies have a chance to beat the Rohit Sharma-led side in the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy four-match series, which begins on February 9 in Nagpur. Australia leads the World Test Championship table, having only lost one match in 15 Tests, and a win in India will qualify them for the final. India is second on the table, while Sri Lanka is third, and both teams are vying for a place in the final.

Jayawardene hopes Australia beats India to help Sri Lanka reach the WTC final, and he predicts a 2-1 series win for Australia. “I think it’s always going to be a great series. I think Indian conditions and how the Australian batsmen tackle that, they do have a really good bowling unit and how do the Indian batsmen tackle that…it depends on how each team starts the series and who’s got that momentum. But it will be fascinating,” Jayawardene said in the latest edition of ICC Review. “It’s difficult to predict, but being a Sri Lankan, I’m hoping that Australia can go all the way. Probably a 2-1 win for Australia, but it’s going to be a tough one.”

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Mahela is a legend in his own right

Mahela Jayawardene was a prolific, graceful, and totally classy batsman with a voracious thirst for runs, as well as a calm yet authoritative leader. Even when he was new to the international arena, his tremendous talent as a batsman was undeniable, but Jayawardene’s hardest problem has been to live up to all the early hype. With almost 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs, as well as a captaincy spell that includes a World Cup final participation, he has more than met that challenge.

Jayawardene is without a doubt one of the most graceful batters of his time, but his relative lack of success abroad circumstances has been a key stumbling block in his career. His averages in Australia, England, South Africa, and New Zealand are all less than 35, while he exceeds 60 at home. Jayawardene developed into an astute leader in the second half of his career, reading the game well and not being hesitant to take risks. Sri Lanka lost their hesitant attitude under him, winning Tests in England and New Zealand and reaching the 2007 World Cup final, which was Jayawardene’s crowning success as captain.

Jayawardene scored runs all over the wicket thanks to his exceptional hand-eye coordination and skill. His favourite strokes are the leisurely cover drive – often with minimal footwork but excellent placement and timing – and the wristy flip off his legs, although he also plays numerous others with equal aplomb. The most notable are the cuts and dabs he plays behind the stumps, mainly against spinners but occasionally against rapid bowling, when the bat makes wonderfully late contact with the ball. Aside from his talent, what distinguishes his batting is his desire for big scores, most notably in his record 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara.

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