Mahela Jayawardene hoped for an improved performance from his batsmen, and underscored the importance of consistently putting runs on the board in limited-overs cricket. Sri Lanka's captain gave credit to his bowlers for the job they did in Dambulla in the first two matches, but renewed his call for the batsmen to deliver.
"We were disappointed at the way we handled the situation there. We knew it was going to be a tough in the morning session," he said, ahead of Sunday's game at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. "We wanted to execute certain plans which we couldn't. But that game has gone. It's a different wicket here, different conditions here."
But it was not just the odd match Jayawardene was referring to. He said that to get positive results over any length of time it was essential that the batting comes good. "In one-day cricket, batsmen hold the key. They have more responsibility, because runs on the board are vital. They are the ones who control the game," said Jayawardene. "The bowlers will come into play and create opportunities and put pressure on the opposition. But at the same time the batsmen have more responsibility in that they have to get runs on the board."
After the seaming conditions of Dambulla the expectation all round was for more runs and Jayawardene believed that this would be the case. "It is a different wicket. It's much firmer than it used to be here," he said. "The ball will probably come on to the bat better. So definitely there will be more runs."
He clarified that Vaas was progressing well in his recovery from a hamstring injury and was on track to play the third ODI. "Vaasy bowled on both practice days. He looked pretty good. We will have another look at him tomorrow as well. Right now there's a very good chance he will play," he said adding that no major changes were expected in the team. "I think it will probably be the same (composition). The only concern will be Vaasy on his fitness."