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Our goal is to be best fielding side: Moody

Lanka's coach says his team had improved vastly and should do well in Champions Trophy.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:29 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Sri Lanka's cricket coach Tom Moodysaid on Saturday that his team had improved vastly since their last tour of India and should do well in the upcoming Champions Trophy.

"We are a good side now in all three departments of the game with several youngsters performing creditably," Moody said before his team's departure for the neighbouring country.

Marvan Atapattu-led Sri Lanka were last year thrashed 2-0 in a Test series and 6-1 in a one-day series in India.

But they had a remarkable change in fortunes when they drew a three-Test series in England 1-1 and blanked them 5-0 in one-dayers.

Moody said Atapattu's return to the side after back surgery had added to the team's strength.

"Marvan is a quality player with a wealth of experience who will add value as a batsman," said Moody, a former Aussie Test player.

"We have set a goal to be the best fielding side in World Cup 2007 and are well on our way to achieving that," added Moody.

Mahela Jayawardene, who took over as skipper when Atapattu was injured, said the former captain's return had given Sri Lanka more batting options.

"Marvan is an opening batsman who can even play down the order like in Australia, where he batted at number five. We haven't actually come to a final decision on that.

"We may even open with Marvan and get one of the top-order guys to bat at number three," said skipper Jayawardene, who himself took the number three slot in England.

Jayawardene felt the batting options lent Sri Lanka a surprise element which could be used to good effect in both the Champions Trophy and the World Cup.

Sri Lanka are among four teams who will play a qualifying round of the Champions Trophy from October 7 with the two top teams joining six others in the tournament proper.

The West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be the other teams playing in the qualifiers.

First Published: Sep 30, 2006 12:51 IST