Mahela expects tough challenge down under


by Roshen Steelman

Sri Lanka’s new captain Mahela Jayawardene stressed the importance of carrying on the good work from the last two ODIs in South Africa, where Sri Lanka chased down over 300 runs to record two stunning wins. He said this addressing journalists before the national cricket team took wing to Australia to play in a tri-nation series involving the hosts and India.

The curtain raiser of the tournament gets underway on the 5th of February between India and Australia.

"We have done well in the last two matches and we should focus to carry on the good work from those games. At the same time we need to improve on our mistakes which we did in South Africa. This tournament is a tough challenge for us. We are playing against two strong sides and although India have been below par in the Test series against Australia they will come good in the ODIs," Jayawardene who took over the reins of the national cricket team for a second time said.

"We have a good combination for this tournament. We will be playing two warm up matches and we will pick our teams according to the opposition," Jayawardene, who led Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in 2007 said.

Sri Lanka’s first game in the tournament will be on the 8th of February in Perth.

All-rounder Farveez Maharoof, who was the leading run scorer in the recently concluded Premier Limited Overs Tournament makes a comeback to the side while Chanaka Welagedara was recalled having played his last ODI two years ago.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake will form the spin department.

Sri Lanka’s last tour to Australia in 2009 under Kumar Sangakkara was a successful one as the tourists recorded their first ever win on Australian soil when they beat the hosts 2-1.

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