Vaughan urges aggression against SL
England captain Michael Vaughan will encourage onfield aggression against Sri Lanka in what he believes will be the toughest test yet of his leadership.Updated: Nov 14, 2003 22:09 IST
England captain Michael Vaughan will encourage onfield aggression against Sri Lanka in what he believes will be the toughest test yet of his leadership.
Vaughan, mindful of a particularly ill-tempered and unfriendly series last time England toured in 2001, though urged his players not to cross the line.
"We want to play in an aggressive manner, and there is no reason why there can't be some banter, but we don't want to step over the line," Vaughan told reporters at a media conference.
England, fresh from a Test and one-day whitewash of Bangladesh, will play three one-dayers and three Tests against Sri Lanka during the six-week tour.
Although satisfied with the progress of his youthful team since the World Cup, a period during which they have won nine of the 13 games played, Vaughan was under no illusions as to the enormity of the challenge ahead.
Sri Lanka, who have a formidable reputation on home soil, are set to field a team on Tuesday for the first one-day international at Dambulla with an average of 156 caps per player compared to England's paltry 32.
"This is a huge challenge and our toughest test yet," he said. "Not many of our players have got 40 caps let alone Sanath Jayasuriya's 307," he added.
"We will have to learn pretty fast as Sri Lanka are a strong side."
Vaughan dismissed pre-tour security fears triggered by the presidential decision to dissolve the parliament last week, a move that has stalled a peace process between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government.
"Our only worry at the moment appears to be the weather because the rain is pouring down each night," he said.
"We are relaxed and I can say that we are delighted to be visiting this splendid country again."
New Sri Lanka coach John Dyson, a former Australian opening batsmen, said his players were primed to start their first series since a tour to the Caribbean in June.
"They've trained and practiced very hard for this series -- they are physically and mentally ready for it," he said.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials confirmed that the first game at Dambulla will now be a day/night match after the last-minute installation of floodlights.
"The lights were tested last night and the technical reports were satisfactory," said SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala.
First Published: Nov 14, 2003 22:09 IST