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Jayawardene relishing role as ODI opener

If Sunday night was an indication, Sri Lanka will opt to play their best batsman at the top in the World Cup. Chasing a paltry 104 against India, Mahela Jayawardene opened with Tillakaratne Dilshan. Amol Karhadkar reports. As opener

cricket Updated: Aug 26, 2010 00:39 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara experiment showed that asking your best batsman to open the innings in ODIs worked better than using a pinch-hitter at the top.

If Sunday night was an indication, Sri Lanka will opt to play their best batsman at the top in the World Cup. Chasing a paltry 104 against India, Mahela Jayawardene opened with Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Though Jayawardene is not averse to the opener's role, the middle-order bat has hardly opened in ODIs.

Though Kumar Sangakkara is apprehensive, the skipper conceded that Jayawardene has shown a preference to open.

"He is the best batsman we have, to me he's ideal in the middle order, No. 4, No. 5. With the power play on, that's a great area for him to bat," said Sangakkara.

Jayawardene, who tasted success for the Wayamba Elevens, Kings XI Punjab in the IPL and for Sri Lanka at the World T20, said had it not been for Wayamba, he wouldn't have been able to explore the role.