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Malinga set for attack mode

Sri Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga believes he can generate more pace than he did on Sri Lanka's 2004 tour in Brisbane.

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2007 01:31 IST

Sri Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga has vowed to go after the Australian batsmen in their two-Test series getting underway here next Thursday. Malinga is to make his first tour appearance in the three-day match against Queensland at Allan Border Field starting here on Friday.

Malinga believes he can generate more pace than he did on Sri Lanka's last tour here in 2004.

"I have more pace now than last time we played here. I think maybe I can get around 140 (kmph) — I want more pace," Malinga said.

"All fast bowlers like to do the bouncer and everything. I am the same. We are going to be very attacking."

Captain Mahela Jayawardene promised his side would give as good as they got from Australia this summer. Jayawardene said Sri Lanka were only interested in playing with controlled aggression against Australia, especially in light of incidents during Australia's one-day series in India earlier this month.

Indian fast bowler S Sreesanth clashed with Australian batsmen and was criticised in the local media for his over-the-top intimidation and excessive appealing. "That's important, that you don't lose your cool. It's the seniors' responsibility to guide the guys through periods in difficult situations," Jayawardene said.

"You need to be aggressive but you should not go overboard.

"When you lose your composure... that's when they (Australia) come back at you very strongly."

Jayawardene warned of a new and improved Malinga for the Australian tour.

"He's learned a lot in the last three years since he has been here," he said.

"He has learned to adjust to different conditions and batsmen. Now he's got the ability to control his aggression, which is a good thing.

"He (Malinga) is one of our attacking options (but) we don't want to put a lot of pressure on the young guys," he said.

Sangakkara ruled out

Meanwhile, Samantha Algama, the Sri Lanka Cricket spokesperson, told HT from Colombo, “It looks like Kumar Sangakkara will be ruled out for the first Test.”

Jayawardene said, “It's a pretty big (blow). He's one of our top performers over the last two or three years but it gives an opportunity to someone else."

MacGill returns for Oz

Melbourne: Australia's selectors, coping with the retirements of greats Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, named two spinners in a 13-man squad for the first Test which begins on November 8.

Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and left-armer Brad Hogg will likely vie for a spinner's position in the Australian lineup for the match at the Gabba.

Brett Lee will lead an Australian pace unit comprising Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson or Shaun Tait.

MacGill, 36, picks up the leg-spinning role left vacant by the retirement of Warne.

He is favoured to play his 41st Test match and his first since last April's Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong. Hogg's form in domestic first class cricket has won him inclusion in the squad.

First Published: Nov 02, 2007 01:20 IST