A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Mahela Jayawardene is just as good as Ricky Ponting, says Trevor Bayliss

Jayawardene has established himself as a force to be reckoned with at the crease

Former Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss believes veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene is constantly underrated and is just as good of a player as ex-Australia skipper Ricky Ponting.

Jayawardene has currently amassed 10, 806 Test runs at an average of 49.56 and is within touching distance of becoming the first Sri Lankan player to score 11,000 runs in the longest format of the game.

Jayawardene would become only the seventh player in cricketing history to score 11,000 Test runs, joining the legendary club which currently features Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Brian Lara and Allan Border.

Bayliss believes Jayawardene, like Ponting, has the ability to score runs in all kinds of conditions, which makes him a reliable and world-class batsman.

“He’s up there with Ricky, no doubt,” News.com.au quoted Bayliss as saying. “Mahela has been superb, like (Kumar) Sangakkara. He has been so good over a lot of years and in all conditions as well.”

Bayliss noted that Jayawardene’s “concentration” is his most compelling trait which allows him to stay at the crease all day and make massive scores.

“One of his great attributes is that he has unbelievable concentration,” Bayliss added. “Once he gets in, he makes a lot of big scores. He can bat all day and I’ve seen him bat a day-and-a-half to score 200.

“Once he gets in, he is very difficult to remove. He has a fairly simple technique so not a lot can go wrong with him. He is one player Australia will have to dismiss early because if they don’t he is capable of going on and making big scores.”

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