Island Cricket

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lankan bats ready to hit form, says skipper

WITH his side needing to win today against India to remain in contention for the finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene yesterday attempted to put a positive spin on his team's batting problems, suggesting that the top order was "due" to end the slump. Writes Lyall Johnson for The Age.

"Everyone's due for runs. Our guys haven't clicked as well and they're working really hard,"

"Everyone is trying to get it right in this tournament where the bowlers have dominated a lot of the time. You just have to make sure you settle in, spend some time in the middle and get some confidence."

Should Sri Lanka win, it would move within a match of overtaking India but would need to defeat Australia on Friday at the MCG to do so. A win for the Indians would put them into the final.

And while conceding that his side was underperforming with the bat, Jayawardene also pointed the finger at the Indian batters, saying they had not been contributing a great deal either.

"They've got a good batting line-up but they've struggled as well in the last few games," he said. "The batsmen have struggled in different things but you can't take that for granted.

"They're all good players and I think our guys are due (for runs) pretty soon. It's going to be a good challenge. It has become a semi-final basically for us."

Sri Lanka will enjoy somewhat of a home-ground advantage having played at Bellerive twice this summer — against Australia in a Test and again in a tour match earlier this month against Tasmania. India has not played there on this tour.

"I think we have a good idea of how this wicket is going to fare," Jayawardene said of the usually swing friendly Bellerive. "It all depends on the (weather) conditions. We just need to wait to see how the day turns out."

Meanwhile, Australian coach Tim Nielsen, safe in the knowledge that his side has secured a finals berth, repeated his suggestion that India should concentrate on its own game rather than calling for the Australians to be investigated for their on-field behaviour.

"I said last week, it's interesting how much the opposition teams are talking about what we're doing and at the moment, as far as I can see, we're the only team that's in the finals," Nielsen said yesterday.

"It might be time for them to start looking in their own backyard. There is no doubt both teams are playing the game very hard, no inches (are) asked for and none given and that's how we like to play the game.

"At the moment there are circumstance that are leading to different things being spoken about. Again, the match referees and officials are looking after that but, and I'll say it again, while they're worrying about us it's a good sign, we're the only ones at the moment that are confirmed in the finals."


BlackHawk said...

well..mahe you've hit something but its more subterranean than form...unfortunately

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