Just like Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera had to help step up to replace the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga, the outgoing captain knows that the next generation must start stepping up.
There have already been good signs shown in the 3-0 Test series loss in Australia from opener Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne and wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Angelo Mathews is the anointed new captain as well and while Jayawardene sees plenty of talent in that group, he knows they have a long way to go if they are to be Sri Lanka's long-term answers.
"The opportunity came to Thirimanne and I thought he grabbed it pretty well, I felt that Dimuth was a very talented batsman and he showed what he can do and Chandimal has been performing every time that he gets an opportunity in Test cricket," Jayawardene said.
"That's something that we need to work on obviously and I'm not going to be the captain for the next series so that's for the selectors and the next captain to think about what the next direction is that we need to go.
"The more opportunities they all get in these types of conditions their overall game will improve, but talent alone won't carry them forward.
"It's a much tougher thinking process and you need to identify your weaknesses, and know your game better and go out and see what the opposition is doing so you can build your innings and bat for longer.
"All those guys have talent and have shown that, but as long as they are willing to learn and work hard they will make those big scores and be the future of Sri Lankan cricket."
The SCG Test will be Jayawardene's last as Sri Lankan captain and he knows that it wasn’t too far away from being a perfect way to stand down. Sri Lanka batted first and made a competitive 294 and had Australia 6-307, but then the hosts off the hook to make 432.
Sri Lanka again did solidly in the second innings to at least give Australia a chase of 141, and they picked up five second innings wickets, but it wasn’t quite enough.
"This would have been the perfect script bowling on the fourth day in Sydney but probably the way we started on the first day it was important for us to make sure that we had a good start to try and capitalise on batting first by putting some good runs on the board," Jayawardene said.
"We did create some pressure in their first innings as well and if we could have kept them somewhere close to what our first innings score was things could have been different.
"We let Wadey get away from us in that morning and we dropped a few catches, and even in the second innings we batted well but didn’t consistently put pressure on the Australians. With another 60 or 70 runs things could have been different, but we weren’t good enough to do that."
Jayawardene was much happier with the fight shown from his side in Sydney after the humiliating innings and 201-run loss in Melbourne, but knows Sri Lanka's Test side still has a long way to go especially to win away from the sub-continent.
"I thought we hung in there pretty well and had a pretty decent Test match. We had to take responsibility after not showing any fight in Melbourne and that was very disappointing. To come back to this I thought we stood up pretty well and fought well, but it wasn’t good enough," Jayawardene said.
"The Australians did play some really good cricket and gave us a few opportunities here and there, but we weren’t good enough to capitalise and take control. When you are competing at this level, you need to be much better prepared and show much better character to win a Test match in these conditions."