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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Jayasuriya warns of Indian backlash

The dashing Sri Lankan batsman says the Indian ODIs outfit wears a completely different look to the team that lost the Test series to the Lankans, reports Anand Vasu. Spl: Mission Sri Lanka

cricket Updated: Aug 14, 2008 10:57 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times

One man the Indian team did not have to contend with in the Test series was Sanath Jayasuriya and though he will come hard at them in the one-day internationals starting on August 18 in Dambulla, they will take heart from his words of support for the beleaguered middle order.

"These things happen, you've got to expect that," Jayasuriya said soon after a promotional event. "I can't understand how one bad series can make them no good anymore, and how people can start speculating about their futures."

Jayasuriya had special praise for his Mumbai IPL captain and teammate, Sachin Tendulkar. "Sachin has had a long career and when you play for that long, you are bound to have a series like this," he said.

"He was scoring all those runs in Australia not too long ago. He sets high standards for himself and I am sure he will bounce back. The unfortunate thing was that India had a few players going through a bad patch at the same time."

Virender Sehwag was one of the few Indian batsmen to escape the batting blues and Jayasuriya, somewhat expectedly, pointed to an aggressive approach in explaining his success.

"Sehwag is completely different. His hand-eye coordination is exceptional. It's good that he didn't change his style after a disappointing outing in the first Test."

The Indian limited-overs outfit wears a completely different look to the team that lost the Test series but Jayasuriya warned the visitors would be looking to come back strongly.

"It will be an exciting series. Yes, we have beaten them in the Tests, but complacency is the last thing we want to see. Their pride will be hurt, so they'll want to make sure they go home with a win in the one-dayers."

Jayasuriya, who does not play Test cricket, has had no competitive cricket since the Asia Cup final, more than a month back, but he is confident there will be no rustiness when he takes the field.

"There hasn't been any domestic cricket, so I haven't spent time in the middle," he conceded. "But that's part and parcel of the game. You've got to be prepared for the challenge. These are the demands of international cricket."

Dhoni laments Sachin’s loss

By now it surprised no one when the first question Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to answer was just how he and his team planned to tackle Ajantha Mendis. The one-day wonders rolled into the team hotel a bit later than expected after their flight from Bangalore was delayed, but even before Dhoni had a chance to catch his breath the Mendis query came his way.

"I'll just ask Mahela if he will lend Mendis for a couple of practice session. If not, then…" Dhoni began in a characteristic lighter vein. "We will have to deal with it in a personal way, we can watch 1000 videos of what he does, but its is up to the individual to play him on the turf. It depends on your frame of mind."

If that was the obvious question, the crucial one took some time coming, but eventually talk veered away from Mendis, and one of India's own, Sachin Tendulkar, who was forced to pull out of the five-ODI series at the last moment after he injured his left elbow in the course of the final Test.

"It's difficult to fill the space left by Sachin Tendulkar. It's not just his contribution with bat and the ball, but he comes up with brilliant suggestions and advices on the field."