Sri Lanka vice captain Mahela Jayawardene today said they will not take New Zealand lightly in their group-position deciding match on Friday even though the Black Caps would be without skipper Daniel Vettori and experienced paceman Kyle Mills.
The two teams will clash to determine the final position in the group A and the outcome of the match will then decide their respective opponents in the knockout stage. "I think those two guys probably are the senior-most bowlers in their line up.
But then again we can't take anything lightly. What I have seen of New Zealand is that they always play as a unit. Individuals come out and perform but they always play as a team and that's where they are very dangerous," Jaywardene said. "Especially with Daniel and Mills not being there, they might get together and have a different game plan against us. That's something we have to look forward to.
For us it's all about making sure we execute our game plan," said the 33-year-old veteran of 337 ODIs. Jayawardene said it was not ideal to plan for the knock-out phase before knowing who their opponents were. "We can't pick and choose who we want to play in the quarter-finals.
All we want to do is to play some good cricket take some confidence into the next round, play whoever comes across (as our opponents) and give our best," said the batsman who has amassed 9253 runs in ODIs with 13 hundreds. "We have spoken very little about it (quarter-finals) because there are a lot of equations. Anything can happen. We want to concentrate on the New Zealand game and finish high up in our group.
We have prepared for the World Cup knowing we can go all the way and win it. So for us to do that we have to play anybody; that's our attitude," he said. Jayawardene did not think his team's past record against the Black Caps was a factor to tag the Lankans as the favourites. "I don't think so when you come to a big tournament. In this tournament we have seen that particularly. On a given day anyone can beat anybody. It's a very open tournament. (It’s) important how you get yourself into a rhythm now especially given the fact we have come to the business part of the tournament. So you want to try and execute what you want to execute, brush up on areas which you want to brush up."