New Delhi:Mahela Jayawardene's decision to step down from captaincy after Pakistan Test tour came as a shock to long-time deputy and friend Kumar Sangakkara, who feels the right man should lead the team and vice-captain should not necessarily become the skipper.
"I think you never know whether you are ready or not until you are tested and tried. And of course it's never the case of the vice-captain automatically taking the job. It should always be the right man at the right time for the job," said Sangakkara.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is the favourite to become the next skipper but he feels timing will be the key to taking up the job.
"I think the timing is all important. We will have to wait and see what decision is made, and whatever decision is made will be made with the best interest of the side at heart," he said.
He also tried to play down his chances of filling in Jayawardene's shoes.
"Everyone has the capacity to lead. One of the things that we have tried to foster in our team in build eleven to fifteen people who can lead anytime because leadership during games is almost always situational and you get guys who are stepping up to help the captain at various times and in tough times," the 31-year-old told a cricket website.
"I think we have got various capable people who will put their hands up for the job and I might be one of them. So we will have to wait and see what decisions are made and what the future holds for me and the rest of the team," said Sangakkara who admitted Jayawardene's decision came as a shock.
"Having known Mahela for a really long time I think he has got a few good reasons why he did that; you would probably get to know as time goes on. I think it was a very personal decision that he made. Having been one of our more successful captains, and having led the country so successfully over the last three years, it was surprising to me that he did resign at this time, because I thought he was a fantastic leader and the right man for the job," said the left-handed batsman.
Sangakkara said Jayawardene has the ability to make individual players bond into a unit.
"Under Attapattu there was new culture in the dressing room, where everyone had an equal voice and everyone's contribution was equally valued. Mahela strengthened that and built it even stronger, where the guys trusted each other and were unafraid to make mistakes and learn from them.
"Other than obvious achievements of the World Cup final (in 2007) and the win in Asia Cup, his real contribution was that he made different individuals into one unit and also got them bonding and gelling together and contributing worthwhile efforts to Sri Lankan cricket."