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Sri Lanka take history lesson before second test

cricket Updated: Dec 07, 2007 16:04 IST

Reuters
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Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has urged his team to remember the lessons of England's 2001 tour and make sure they do not squander their 1-0 lead after winning the first test by 88 runs.

Sri Lanka won the first test of the 2001 series in Galle but then lost the next two matches in Kandy and Colombo to Nasser Hussain's tenacious tourists.

"We cannot afford to relax against England this time and we must make sure we make full use of the advantage gained in Kandy," Jayawardene told Reuters.

"The defeat in that 2001 series still hurts and the memories of it will make sure we hit England hard in Colombo."

Sri Lanka will be making one certain change from Kandy with opener Upul Tharanga replacing Sanath Jayasuriya, who retired after Sri Lanka's win on Wednesday.

The selectors kept faith with Jehan Mubarak in the middle despite making a first innings duck and then just nine in the second innings.

"The middle order is a bit of a concern but we have to be fair to the youngsters we have identified and give them a decent run," Jayawardene said.

Sri Lanka anticipate the same bowling attack on a Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) pitch that is traditionally helpful for pace bowlers on day one before becoming a batting paradise.

"The final bowling combination will depend on the pitch but knowing the SSC it will probably be three seamers and Murali," Jayawardene added.

FITNESS CONCERNS

England's preparations have been dogged by fitness concerns over Matthew Hoggard, their best bowler in Kandy before the recurrence of an earlier back injury.

Coach Peter Moores admitted that Hoggard was very doubtful for the test starting on Sunday.

"He had some gym work today and only batted in the nets, but his back is still sore so he is doubtful for the test," Moores told the media.

"We are not sending him home, but are assessing his progress on a daily basis," he added.

"We have one seamer extra with Steve Harmison having joined the squad so we won't be calling for replacements unless someone else breaks down."

Hoggard's absence weakens England's attack considerably and their selection will now revolve around identifying the best bowling combination to take 20 wickets.

"We are 1-0 down and we need to win if we are going to be able to go to Galle to win the series," said Moores.

England have the option of drafting in off-spinner Graeme Swann to give extra variety and greater batting depth, or playing Stuart Broad or Harmison.

The good news for England is that Kevin Pietersen is batting again without painkillers after fracturing a finger.

"Pietersen batted today without painkillers and fielding-wise he should hopefully be fine," Moores added.

Teams (from):

England - Michael Vaughan (captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Matthew Hoggard, Phil Mustard, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Steve Harmison

Sri Lanka - Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Vandort, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Silva , Jehan Mubarak, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Malinga Bandara, Sujeewa de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan