While Tendulkar has emrged as the God of Cricket, Jayasuriya is one of the best and longest serving destructor in World Cricket. Both have been demolishing with bat. While Jayasuriya started his career primarily as bowler, Tendulkar was smart with leather in hand too. Their greatness needs no introduction, but when it comes to Asia Cup, Jayasuriya has not only pushed Tendulkar to second place, but has played crucial role in Lankan’s three of the four championship victory at Asia Cup.
Asia Cup and the Two Giants
Jayasuriya played from 1990-2008 in 6 Asia Cup tournaments. Sachin played from 1990-2012 in 7 Asia Cup Tournaments. Jayasuriya retired after 2008 Asia Cup, while Sachin did not play in 2008 and 2010 Asia Cup. Both did not open in their first Asia Cup in 1990. Since 1995 Asia Cup, both played as openers for their respective teams.
Sri Lanka has won Asia Cup four times. Jayasuriya’s presence in the team during the victories cannot be just a coincidence. He thumped other Asian teams with bat, and then forced the ball into their wicket. He was a one-man army qaround which other Sri Lankan greats such as Ranatunga, Sangakkara, Mahela, Muralitharan, Vaas and others stuck around like wheels to make SL the best team of the tournament.
Tendulkar, on the other hand has shown consistency and proved useful through good knocks to help India reach the maximum tally of 5 Championship wins, the maximum by any team.
Jayasuriya and Tendulkar are the top two run scorers of the Asia Cup. While Jayasirya has retired scoring mammoth 1220 runs, Sachin Tendulkar follows him far behind with 805 runs at second place. Jayasuriya has scored 6 centuries in the tournament, more than half of the total Sri Lankan centuries. SL has scored 11 centuries in Asia Cup till 2010. Sachin has scored only one century, and before Gambhir and Kohli hit twin centuries in 2012, he was the only Indian batsman with a century against Sri Lanka, the best team of Asia Cup.
Jayasuriya leads Sachin in batting average, number of runs scored and high scores. While Jayasuriya has an average of 53.04 and strike rate of 102.52, Sachin has an average of 47.35 and strike rate of 85.54.
Batting Comparison Chart
Bowling Analysis in Asia Cup
Even with ball, Jayasuriya has retired as the third best bowler of the tournament, behind the specialists Muralitharan (30 wickets) and Vaas (23 wickets). Tendulkar on the other hand emerged as India’s joint best bowler till the end of 2010 Asia Cup with 17 wickets.
Irfan Pathan with 4 wickets in first match of 2012 against SL is now the leading Indian bowler with 21 wickets.
Jayasuriya bowled 148.5 overs in 21 innings of his 25 matches. With 2 maidens he grabbed 22 wickets. 4/49 was his best performance. Sachin has bowled only 74.4 overs in 14 innings of the 21 matches he has played in Asia Cup.
Bowling Comparison Chart
Eco=Economy Rate, Avg.=Average, BB=Best Bowling, O=Overs
Overall Record in Asia Cup
Although both the giants participated for their teams in 5 Asia Cups from 1990-2004, Asian Cricket fans had to wait till 2004 Asia Cup to see their direct rivalry. Sri Lanka won the championship, otherwise Sachin Tendulkar would have walked away with the Player of the series award that Jayasuriya received in 2004 Asia Cup.
Tendulkar has earned 2 Player of the match award in Asia Cup, while Jayasuriya has grabbed 7 of them, besides the Player of the series award in 2004.
Performance of Jayasuriya and Tendulkar in Each Asia Cup
Overall ODI Record
Tendulkar with 461 ODIs has broken Jayasuriya’s record of 445 ODI matches. While overall in ODI no player can dream of chasing Tendulkar’s feat who has scored 18260 runs with record 48 centuries and 95 half-centuries, Jayasuriya will be famous for introducing aggression in ODI from the first ball of the match. In 433 innings of 445 ODIs, he has scored 13430 runs with 28 centuries and 68 half-centuries. His mammoth tally of 270 sixes in ODI tell why one will remember Jayasuriya forever.
The statistics are upto the second match of Asia Cup 2012.
Fans of both players can continue with their claim about who was greater, but Asian Cricket is indebted to both. While Sachin is in a different league that links to Bradman, Gavaskar and other greats, Jayasuriya is the player who has single-handedly changed the way ODI was played, and can be easily nicknamed as the father of modern ODI and probably the force behind introduction of T20 in World Cricket.