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Mahela to seek revenge in WI

Skipper thankful that WI will not have 30,000 screaming Indians, reports KR Guruprasad.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2007 03:16 IST

The times are quite paradoxical for Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene. While his team has been backed by a string of impressive performances going in to the World Cup, his own form appears lost.

And quite ominously, his form had deserted him during the previous World Cup. Is he worried about a repeat?

"No, not really," said Jayawardene here on Sunday. "Hopefully, I should come out of my bad slump." He was in the city for a reality cricket show.

"I have had a couple of bad months, especially in New Zealand and then here. In between, I have played some domestic cricket and got some good scores. But I don't know why I could not convert some into good scores in the last few one-dayers.

“I guess I have to spend more time in the middle. Technically, I am okay. I just need to ensure that I get a good start and keep going. I don't think there will be a repeat of the previous World Cup. Obviously, the mindset is going to be totally different for me as I go into this World Cup.”

The recent series loss in India notwithstanding, Jayawardene believes his team fought well and the experience from this tour is a good investment for the future. He also felt that the loss would not hamper their confidence ahead of the World Cup.

“We played well against India. We never gave up and India played better cricket. They outplayed us in the last game and that's how we are going to take it,” said Jayawardene.

Sri Lanka and India are placed in the same group in the World Cup and Jayawardene said the fact did not worry him.

“For one, India will not have 30,000 fans screaming for them in the Caribbean. Obviously, the atmosphere is going to be
completely different at a neutral venue.

"We are going to meet in one month's time and anything can happen in that period. Everything depends on preparation and peaking at the right time. I am looking forward to the encounter in the Caribbean.”

Asked about his team's strengths, Jayawardene said, “I would like to think we have a good all-round side. I think we have an experienced batting line-up. The bowling unit has a lot of variations. And I am quite enthusiastic about it.”

Asked how would he define himself, he said, “I am like a younger brother to the team that has a lot of experienced guys. What I bring in is more enthusiasm. I enjoy the game and I like to see the players enjoying.

“It's been a great 12 months for me. I have got a great deputy in Kumar Sangakkara. He is a close friend of mine. We try and make things happen. We take risks in the middle and see whether they work out. We enjoy the challenge."