Yep, Jayawardene is one of my favourite non Australia players and i have an enourmous respect for him.
Whenever a captain says something like: "we've got a talented squad and we're going to show we can beat the best", when they're going to play Australia, I always like that. But as soon a cricketer makes that kind of comment, we have the media trying to instigate a fight with the kind of questions they ask to the Aussies in reply..."Hey Ricky, did you hear Smith said this...".
The Aussies are so dominant these days that banter between the teams gets more notice because the game is usually headed one way - an Aussie victory. But I think the banter between teams is an indication of confidence. A team that puts it's 'word' on the line has it's pride to play for - do not underestimate the importance of pride. Pride is that which transforms the greats into legends.
In regards to the thread, I think if Ponting were in Jayawardene's place we would be hearing a lot more whining. Someone stated that this is a trait of a shrewed captain, maybe, but I'm sure it is the definition of a shrewed captain. I think Mahela has got it in other places.
He is has shown very good captaincy skills so far and has been innovative. Those two aspects alone are a revelation because you do not see a lot of intellegence every day on the cricket field. Add to it, he carries himself brilliantly. He also has such a cool head on his shoulders. Once they lost the final, you saw all the Sri Lankans stand in the dressing room and applaud the opponents instantly. That impresses me most about Jayawardene and his team. To carry yourself like a sportsman when things are going your way is not difficult. But to do the same when it is not is the acid test. Applauding opponents after losing is a quality I admire highly in sportspersons and sports teams. I hope the team goes from strength. All the best Sri Lanka.
Jayawardne has always been my favourite Sri Lankan player since he made his 1st ODI century in Aus chasing 301 against Eng. He's a class act and hopefully he'll be a successful captain as well :)
You're not suggesting that the rain cost them the game, are you?
But I see your point re Arjuna - he was fun to watch back then. Only thing I'll say against him was the incident with Emerson at Adelaide was very, very ugly - telling him where to stand, etc. But, even that is funny now, when you look back at it.
Haha. IMO Emerson deserved all the derision he got. Worst Umpire in history.