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Sunday, 29 January 2012

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SA tour has given team confidence - Mahela Jayawardene

CRICKET: With a new feeling under a new captain in Mahela Jayawardene a Sri Lanka outfit of experience and youth took wing to Australia for a Tri-Nation ODI limited Over series featuring hosts Australia and India. True, for Jayawardene it is nothing new being put into the deep end once again as the selectors blew off the fuse to get a man of maturity at the helm.


Sri Lanka cricket team left for Australia on Friday night to take part in the Tri-Series ODI tournament which begins next Sunday (5). Here Lahiru Thirimanne (left) assisting his teammate Thisara Perera to adjust his tie, minutes before the team's departure. Pix: Kavindra Perera

Jayawardene talking to the media just before his departure from the SLC Headquarters to the airport said that the tour is no doubt is an important one as Sri Lanka has to combat with two of the best ODI teams in the world.

“We have a well balanced unit and we are hoping to take forward all the good things we did in South Africa and likewise we should rectify the weak points and go forward that is the most important factor to success.” said Jayawardene.

Jayawardene reminded that although India is not faring well against Australia in a Test series, the limited overs contest could be a different ball game with the teams injecting younger players and the mental toughness different from a Test match. So, no side could be taken lightly with different players coming into the side. So we should realise that both teams are well prepared mentally and take forward the positives after winning the last two games in South Africa.

The Sri Lankan captain emphasized the importance of getting used to the Australian pitches quickly as the first match in Perth is an important one.

Sri Lankans will be playing two warm up games prior to the main tournament. Based on that, the final most suitable composition of the team will be chosen.

“ Farveez Maharoof coming back into the team after a lay-off due to injury, said that he was happy to be in the side and hoped to cement his place in the side by performing well.

For the record, Mahela had a very enterprising run as captain from 2005 till he handed over the reigns to his buddy Kumar Sangakkara who captained the 2011 World Cup held in the sub-continent where Sri Lanka ended up as runners-up to India losing the final.

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