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'Consistency, a real test for India'

Lauding the Indian bowlers for their show in the last few games, Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardne emphasises that the sign of a good side is the consistency, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.
By Atreyo Mukhopadhyay | Hindustan Times, Canberra
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2008 03:05 AM IST

It hasn't been even a year since they knocked India out of the World Cup, but Sri Lanka are wary that they are up against a different lot this time. With two points from two matches after a washout and a defeat, Mahela Jayawardene sounded somewhat defensive during Monday's media conference.

Excerpts:

How impressive have been the Indian bowlers so far?

They bowled really well up front to put pressure on the Aussies (on Sunday). They have been bowling really well in the past few weeks. In the Tests, they showed good form. We just need to make sure that we concentrate on our game and combat that. They are in form but in a one-day game, you need to perform on that day. That's how things go these days. We just need to come back strongly after the last outing.

Is the Sri Lankan batting a bit wobbly?

Our batting is a concern but you can have such days (against Australia in Sydney). That happened to the Aussies as well. They batted seven guys and couldn't get 160. That's how it goes when you are having a bad day in office. We just need to forget about what happened the other day and concentrate on how we are going to go about things. Losing wickets up front did put a lot of pressure on our middle order and they didn't handle that situation that well.

What's your impression of Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma and this young Indian team?

The challenge for them will be to stay at this level and try to be consistent. They are playing some very good cricket. But that's a good opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and see where we are. There's a lot of energy in this Indian team and opposition teams are adjusting to them.

Does this Australia team look a bit jittery?

Australia are not dominating world cricket at the moment. They are playing some good cricket, but on and off. They are being pushed to the limit, which is a good thing. I think the rest of the world is catching up with them, specially in one-day cricket.

How open is this competition now?

If we can get a win against India, it'll be a keen contest. It's all a matter of competing and if you don't, things go wrong. We need to comeback from the last outing and play to our positives. We need to make sure that we make this tournament much more interesting than what it is.

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