Sri Lanka arrived in Adelaide less than a week ago promising aggression and focus as they bid for their first Test win on Australian soil. On the day they landed, their captain Mahela Jayawardene made it clear that to compete against Australia in any form they must be on the ball for at least four days of the five.
In the first warm-up match against the Chairman’s XI in Adelaide, they could not even concentrate for four sessions as their fielding fell apart over the last two of the three days. Five catches were dropped, with Jayawardene culpable in two instances - missing sitters at second and leg slip. He admitted that it was a “bad habit” the players must shake off, but was keen to downplay the fielding and happy to put it behind them.
“It was just a lack of concentration,” Jayawardene said after the game ended in a draw. “We’ve had a long chat about it yesterday and today as well. The guys concentrate a lot on the batting and the bowling but it’s just on the field it seems to not have the same kind of concentration which is a bad habit obviously. We just need to make sure we don’t get into these kind of things, especially when playing Australia.”
He was candid, too, about his batting performance which involved a first-innings duck and a fair fifty, with both innings ending in the softest of dismissals, popping up on the off side. “The first innings was a shambles the way I got out. I just wanted to spend some time out there in the middle. The way I was hitting the ball, that was pretty good, but towards the end I was just trying to do a few too many things.”
And he took away some positives - “The way Sanath (Jayasuriya) played and the way we handled the conditions. A bit of a tough start, losing a bowler [Chanaka Welegedera] early wasn’t the best thing because we didn’t want to tax a lot of guys as well, we just wanted to get them into a rhythm.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will call up fast bowler Sujeewa de Silva as cover for the injured Chanaka Welegedera. Welegedera tore his right quadricep muscle on the second day of the first warm-up match against the Australia Chairman’s XI in Adelaide and is expected to miss the second and final warm-up match which begins in Queensland on Friday. de Silva, who played in the last Test series against Bangladesh in July, is currently in Zimbabwe with the A side.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Australia, Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka in Australia 2007
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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