Jayawardene to quit captaincy
Mahela Jayawardene has confirmed he will step down as Sri Lanka captain at the end of their tour of Australia.
The 35-year-old began his second stint as skipper in January after Tillakaratne Dilshan’s resignation, and he will finish following the second Twenty20 international at the MCG on January 28.
Jayawardene, nearing the end of his playing days, is now expected to help vice-captain Angelo Mathews prepare to make the step up.
"I took over the captaincy for 12 months and that ends after this series, so I don't want to continue to captain Sri Lanka after this tour. This will be my last," Jayawardene said ahead of tomorrow’s first day of the Test series.
"I was going to wait until the end of the series but I thought I might as well do it now, having had a chat to the selectors."
Jayawardene was previously Sri Lanka captain for four years to 2009, but took on the task again after Dilshan stood down.
"I hope I don't get any more SOS calls from them later on," he added. "This year has been brilliant. I've enjoyed what I've achieved."
Meanwhile, Australia have opted against a four-pronged pace attack in the first Test with Mitchell Johnson named as 12th man at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval.
Johnson, who made his Test return versus South Africa this month, has been overlooked in favour of Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc. It was a tough call for Johnson, who was arguably the pick of the bowlers with six wickets at Perth on his comeback.
Siddle and Hilfenhaus both return from injuries, while spinner Nathan Lyon remains the only bowler to be selected in all four Tests this Australian summer.
The Hobart clash also marks the return of Phil Hughes, who is set to bat at three with Shane Watson pushed down to four.
Australia team: Michael Clarke (c), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus.