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

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Mahela Jayawardene in Numbers: Breaking Down the Career of Sri Lanka's Legend
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
Mat Runs HS Ave 100s 50s
149 11814 374 49.84 34 50

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
Player Mat Runs HS Ave 100s 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 200 15921 248* 53.78 51 68
Ricky Ponting 168 13378 257 51.85 41 62
Jacques Kallis 166 13289 224 55.37 45 58
Rahul Dravid 164 13288 270 52.31 36 63
Kumar Sangakkara 128 11988 319 58.76 37 51
Brian Lara 131 11953 400* 52.88 34 48
Mahela Jayawardene 149 11814 374 49.84 34 50
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 156 11414 203* 51.88 29 63
Allan Border 156 11174 205 50.56 27 63
Steve Waugh 168 10927 200 51.06 32 50

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
Country Mat Runs HS Ave 100s 50s
vs. Australia 16 969 105 33.41 2 5
vs. Bangladesh 13 1146 203* 76.40 5 2
vs. England 23 2212 213* 58.21 8 10
vs. India 18 1822 275 67.48 6 8
vs. New Zealand 13 1028 167 48.95 3 6
vs. Pakistan 29 1687 240 32.44 2 10
vs. South Africa 17 1782 374 57.48 6 2
vs. West Indies 12 748 136 44.00 1 4
vs. Zimbabwe 8 420 100* 60.00 1 3

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
Player 200s
Sir Donald Bradman 12
Kumar Sangakkara 10
Brian Lara 9
Wally Hammond 7
Mahela Jayawardene 7
Marvan Atapattu 6
Virender Sehwag 6
Javed Miandad 6
Ricky Ponting 6
Sachin Tendulkar 6

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
Partners Runs Team Opposition Year
Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene 624 SL SA 2006
Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama 576 SL Ind 1997
Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe 467 NZ SL 1991
Bill Ponsford, Sir Donald Bradman 451 Aus Eng 1934
Mudassar Nazar, Javed Miandad 451 Pak Ind 1983
Sir Conrad Hunte, Sir Gary Sobers 446 WI Pak 1958
Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara 438 SL Zim 2004
Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera 437 SL Pak 2009
Jacques Rudolph, Boeta Dippenaar 429* SA Ban 2003
Neil McKenzie, Graeme Smith 415 SA Ban 2008

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
Captain Mat Won Lost Draw
Sanath Jayasuriya 38 18 12 8
Mahela Jayawardene 38 18 12 8
Arjuna Ranatunga 56 12 19 25
Marvan Atapattu 18 8 6 4
Angelo Mathews 13 6 2 5
Kumar Sangakkara 15 5 3 7
Duleep Mendis 19 2 8 9

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
Mat Runs HS Ave 100s 50s
38 3665 374 59.11 14 10

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
Player Mat Runs HS Ave 100 50
Sir Donald Bradman 24 3147 270 101.51 14 7
Mahela Jayawardene 38 3665 374 59.11 14 10
Michael Clarke 37 3543 329* 59.05 13 7
Sir Gary Sobers 39 3528 178* 58.80 11 15
Graham Gooch 34 3582 333 58.72 11 16
Brian Lara 47 4685 400* 57.83 14 19
Misbah-ul-Haq 29 2277 135 56.92 3 21
Greg Chappell 48 4209 235 55.38 13 19
Bob Simpson 39 3623 311 54.07 10 16
Peter May 41 3080 285* 54.03 10 15

ESPN Cricinfo

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

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