We will be desperate to beat India in semis: Jayawardene
The five-wicket defeat to India in a warm-up match ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy will have no significance when Sri Lanka square off against the same opponents in the semifinals, said Mahela Jayawardene.india Updated: Jun 18, 2013 10:11 IST
The five-wicket defeat to India in a warm-up match ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy will have no significance when Sri Lanka square off against the same opponents in the semifinals, said Mahela Jayawardene.
Jayawardene, who reached 11,000 ODI runs yesterday, said the defeat against India in a warm-up game in Birmingham on June 1 was history. India easily chased down Lanka's 333 for five with Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik scoring big centuries.
"Warm-up games or whatever, it doesn't count right now. It's a big tournament. It's the semifinal, so looking forward to that," said Jayawardene.
The Lankans beat Australia by 20 runs at The Oval last night to finish second in Group A.
Jayawardene scored an unbeaten 84 to win the Man-of-the-Match award as Sri Lanka scored 253 for the loss of eight wickets in a must-win game.
While defending Nuwan Kulasekara took 3 for 42 and Rangana Herath scalped 2 for 48 to snuff out a late challenge by the Aussies.
The Lankans are travelling to Cardiff today to play the tournament's second semifinal against India on Thursday. On Wednesday, England take on South Africa in the first semifinal at The Oval.
Jayawardene, however, admitted that India's batting looked very strong in the tournament.
"I think they're playing some really good cricket. Their batting looks really strong, so those are key areas that we need to focus a bit on," the former Lankan captain said.
On his personal milestone of reaching 11,000-run club, Jayawardene said: "I didn't feel anything. Obviously, pleased when the numbers came up. I can tonight probably reflect more on that achievement because we won the game as well. So importantly the contribution that I made towards the team is much more valuable for me."
Jayawardene said Sri Lanka will be desperate to win the ICC Champions Trophy, a trophy which they shared with India after rain washed out the finals in 2002 in Colombo.
"I'll be desperate for every game to win, simple as that.
It's not about trophies or whatever, it's just to win matches.
So I'll have that same passion and same desperation to win games, doesn't matter if it's a semifinal or final or just a group game. As long as I have that attitude and the rest of the boys, we'll go a long way," he said.