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'Mumbai trip a bonding exercise'

cricket Updated: Mar 17, 2011 00:12 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara may be critical of his team having to play their final league encounter outside the country, but the man who was in charge before him looks at the situation as a blessing in disguise.

Mahela Jayawardene, who relinquished captaincy in 2009 to allow Sangakkara build a team for the 2011 World Cup, insists the trip to Mumbai before the quarterfinals is a good team-building exercise and should help them prepare for bigger challenges better.

"When you are at home there are too many obligations. In Colombo we hardly get to spend time together. But in India we have had really good days. We spend time together, do a bit of analysis," said Jayawardene, who began the World Cup with a century against Canada but hasn't had a good knock since then.

With the exception of the match against Pakistan, Sri Lanka's top three batsmen - Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga and Sangakkara - have been doing the bulk of the scoring, leaving little for the others to do.

"Against Pakistan, Shoaib bowled a very good ball. I am happy with the way I have been playing but I would like to have a good knock going into the business end of the tournament," said the 33-year-old.

Jayawardene was, however, clear that the team would like to play the quarterfinals and semifinals at home but said it was not something in their control. "We don't know who is going to play whom as yet. So there is no point is worrying about that."