Mahela Jayawardene in Numbers: Breaking Down the Career of Sri Lanka's Legend

Tim CollinsFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2014

Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene, center, is carried by teammates Chanaka Welegedara, left, and Dhammika Prasad as they celebrate winning their second cricket test match against Pakistan by 105 runs, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Sri Lanka won the series 2-0. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

Mahela Jayawardene's Test career concluded in style on Monday, as Sri Lanka celebrated a 105-run win over Pakistan in Colombo to secure a 2-0 series victory. 

Although the 37-year-old still plans to take part in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, per Sky Sports, the Sri Lankan veteran will now depart the five-day game as one of the most decorated players of both his generation, and indeed all time. 

A colossus with the bat—particularly at home—and an innovative leader during his 38-Test stint as captain, Jayawardene leaves behind a legacy of class, integrity and relentless excellence.

"I have played with a lot of pride and passion, and that's the same passion that the fans have, and the same passion that the entire nation has. It's quite easy to play for a country like that," the retiring great said after his final Test, per ESPN Cricinfo 

That passion is certainly reflected in his Test record.

Mahela Jayawardene's Test Batting Record
MatRunsHSAve100s50s
1491181437449.843450
ESPN Cricinfo

Indeed, only six men—and only one Sri Lankan—have ever accumulated more Test runs than Jayawardene.

With 11,814 runs in total and 34 hundreds, the stylish right-hander retires with one of the finest Test batting records ever compiled over such a sustained period. 

Highest Test Run-Scorers of All Time
PlayerMatRunsHSAve100s50s
Sachin Tendulkar20015921248*53.785168
Ricky Ponting1681337825751.854162
Jacques Kallis1661328922455.374558
Rahul Dravid1641328827052.313663
Kumar Sangakkara1281198831958.763751
Brian Lara13111953400*52.883448
Mahela Jayawardene1491181437449.843450
Shivnarine Chanderpaul15611414203*51.882963
Allan Border1561117420550.562763
Steve Waugh1681092720051.063250
ESPN Cricinfo

Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

Impressively, Jayawardene has reached triple figures against every Test-playing nation, doing so eight times against England and a further six each against India and South Africa. 

Only Australia and Pakistan have limited Jayawardene to an average below 44 in their encounters with the prolific run-getter.

Mahela Jayawardene's Test Batting Record by Country
CountryMatRunsHSAve100s50s
vs. Australia1696910533.4125
vs. Bangladesh131146203*76.4052
vs. England232212213*58.21810
vs. India18182227567.4868
vs. New Zealand13102816748.9536
vs. Pakistan29168724032.44210
vs. South Africa17178237457.4862
vs. West Indies1274813644.0014
vs. Zimbabwe8420100*60.0013
ESPN Cricinfo

If there's one knock on Jayawardene's career, it's his record away from home, particularly outside Asia.

In 68 Tests on foreign soil, the former captain averaged 39.71, with that number dropping to 31.66 in matches played in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa.  

But those numbers still aren't enough to tarnish his startling array of accomplishments. 

Extremely difficult to remove once set, Jayawardene has made of habit of turning hundreds into double hundreds like few others in the history of the game. 

Most Test Double Hundreds
Player200s
Sir Donald Bradman12
Kumar Sangakkara10
Brian Lara9
Wally Hammond7
Mahela Jayawardene7
Marvan Atapattu6
Virender Sehwag6
Javed Miandad6
Ricky Ponting6
Sachin Tendulkar6
ESPN Cricinfo

Not to stop there, the Sri Lankan has also been involved in two of the top eight Test partnerships of all time, joining Kumar Sangakkara for a world-record 624-run stand against South Africa in 2006 before enjoying a 437-run partnership with Thilan Samaraweera in 2009.

Highest Test Partnerships
PartnersRunsTeamOppositionYear
Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene624SLSA2006
Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama576SLInd1997
Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe467NZSL1991
Bill Ponsford, Sir Donald Bradman451AusEng1934
Mudassar Nazar, Javed Miandad451PakInd1983
Sir Conrad Hunte, Sir Gary Sobers446WIPak1958
Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara438SLZim2004
Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera437SLPak2009
Jacques Rudolph, Boeta Dippenaar429*SABan2003
Neil McKenzie, Graeme Smith415SABan2008
ESPN Cricinfo

Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

Yet, it's leadership that has often separated the good from the great—an area where Jayawardene has truly excelled.

With 18 Test victories as captain, the outgoing Sri Lankan legend sits alongside Sanath Jayasuriya for the most Test wins while in charge of the island nation. 

Most Test Wins as Sri Lanka Captain
CaptainMatWonLostDraw
Sanath Jayasuriya3818128
Mahela Jayawardene3818128
Arjuna Ranatunga56121925
Marvan Atapattu18864
Angelo Mathews13625
Kumar Sangakkara15537
Duleep Mendis19289
ESPN Cricinfo

More imposing again is that Jayawardene's performance with the bat while captain was nothing short of remarkable.

Despite his career average sitting at 49.84, the decorated Sri Lankan averaged almost 10 runs more than that during his tenure in charge. 

Mahela Jayawardene's Test Batting Record as Captain
MatRunsHSAve100s50s
38366537459.111410
ESPN Cricinfo

While that record may not seem truly spectacular, it actually is.

To put it into perspective, only the incomparable Sir Donald Bradman has averaged more than Jayawardene among players with 2000-plus runs as captain

Highest Test Batting Averages with 2000+ Runs as Captain
PlayerMatRunsHSAve10050
Sir Donald Bradman243147270101.51147
Mahela Jayawardene38366537459.111410
Michael Clarke373543329*59.05137
Sir Gary Sobers393528178*58.801115
Graham Gooch34358233358.721116
Brian Lara474685400*57.831419
Misbah-ul-Haq29227713556.92321
Greg Chappell48420923555.381319
Bob Simpson39362331154.071016
Peter May413080285*54.031015
ESPN Cricinfo

Breaking Jayawardene's career down by the numbers certainly highlights the profound impression the Sri Lankan has left upon the game.