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Lanka promise England a tougher Test

England should expect a tougher time when they arrive for their tour of Sri Lanka on Thursday, according to home captain Hashan Tillakaratne.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2003 16:09 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

England should expect a tougher time when they arrive for their tour of Sri Lanka on Thursday, according to home captain Hashan Tillakaratne.

England won a Test series 2-1 in Sri Lanka in 2001 but Sri Lanka's Test captain Hashan Tillakaratne argued: "In the last home series my assessment was that we did more to lose the series than England did to win it.

"This time we must be tougher...we will be looking for revenge," he told reporters.

Sri Lanka have yet to beat the English in a series, although they have won one-off Tests.

Michael Vaughan's side, who beat Sri Lanka at home 2-0 last year and who have warmed up with victory in Bangladesh, play three Tests and three one-dayers over the next six weeks.

"Our batting has not lived up to expectations during the past year and it's essential that we knuckle down to play with discipline and determination," Tillakaratne added.

"The good news is that most of the batsman have found some good form in the current domestic tournament."

Sri Lanka hope to set the tone by dominating the one-day series at the start of the tour.

"It's important we hit the ground running and make a winning start," said one-day skipper Marvan Atapattu, looking ahead to next Tuesday's opening game at Dambulla.

"We need to continue the momentum gained from the West Indies tour, during which the fielding improved and the lower-middle order showed more responsibility."

But he added: "Although we have the advantage of home conditions, this England side is far stronger than the one we defeated 3-0 (in the one-dayers) in 2001."

With monsoon rains still soaking the country every night, Atapattu is unsure how the pitches will play during the first two day-night one-dayers.

"During the last tournament in Dambulla, the seamers did the bulk of the damage and the pitch at Premadasa is now assisting the seamers more," he said.

The series will be Sri Lanka's first under a new management team led by former Australian opener John Dyson, who took over as coach in September.

"We are still getting to know each other and this series will give them a chance to settle in for what we hope will be a very successful year," added Atapattu.

First Published: Nov 12, 2003 16:09 IST