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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Lankan skipper lauds India’s spirit

Mahela Jayawardene praises India for the way they bounced back after losing the first two Tests, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Feb 05, 2008 03:08 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times

They were here Down Under just before the Indians and lost both matches of the two-Test series. A few weeks later, Sri Lanka are back and talking tough, probably because of a few lessons learnt earlier.

“In a tournament like this, the first goal of every team is to get into the finals. Australia start favourites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t knock them out of the competition if you play good cricket. Every game, every point is important and it’s very important to get off to a good start,” said Mahela Jayawardene. The skipper felt not much should be read in to the fact that India did better than Sri Lanka in the Tests against Australia. “One-day cricket is totally different. It’s going to be an interesting series. India have done well in the recent past with a young team and Australia are always very consistent. Over here, it’s all about preparation.”

Jayawardene praised India for the way they bounced back after losing the first two Tests.

“India showed that they are a tough side. They blocked everything else out and played excellent cricket after the first two Tests. They showed a lot of character, and that is the way forward for all teams.”

He seemed to be ready for the youngsters in the Indian team. “We have played against quite a few of them, only Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma are the guys we haven’t come up against. But we saw Rohit at the Twenty20 World Cup and have a pretty good idea about them. India is not all about youth, there’s some experience as well.”

Jayasuriya fit to play

The skipper confirmed that Sanath Jayasuriya was fit to play after being hit on the jaw during a practice match in Hobart on Friday. “He is fine and should play. It was just a cut and he needed a couple of stitches. It’s nothing serious,” he said.