Australia v Sri Lanka 2007-08 / News

Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day

'We are not going to be easy pushovers' - Bayliss

Sa'adi Thawfeeq at the Gabba

November 11, 2007

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Michael Vandort's determined knock has given Sri Lanka a chance to save the Test (file photo) © Getty Images
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Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, expressed confidence that his team could bat out a draw against Australia in the first Test at the Gabba. On a rain-interrupted fourth day Sri Lanka finished on 218 for 5, and need 122 more to avoid an innings defeat.

"We'll be looking to go out with the same attitude we had today, that is to set ourselves to bat all day," Bayliss said. "If we can bat for two sessions we could be in front by tea time. Hopefully we can bat into the third session and save the game.

"The effort we put in today was great, proving that we are here to play some good cricket. I think we have played some good cricket in this match. We were outplayed in the first couple of days by an extremely good batting display. We dropped some important catches and it could have been a lot different otherwise.

"I've seen a lot of other touring teams come here and Australia declare at lunch [on the second day] with 500 to 550. I thought we stuck to our guns pretty well and made them work for it. Hopefully Australia realise that they have to work hard for it as well. We are not going to be easy pushovers."

Looking back at the team strategy going into the fourth day, Bayliss said: "We wanted to prove not only to ourselves but to the opposition that we've got some very good players in this team. If we could bat all day hopefully we could put a little pressure on Australia and make them nervous. That's what we are after, any little chink in Australia's armour to expose. Today we took the points from the batting point of view not to get knocked out."

Attention inevitably turned to Marvan Atapattu's comment on the Sri Lankan selectors - he called them "muppets headed by a joker" - but Bayliss steered clear of the controversy. "We have left all that up to the management on tour. Marvan is still definitely a part of the touring side. The way he batted in this match he was one of our better players in the first innings. He's batted well in the warm up games as well and he is an important part of the set up at the moment. The comments he made didn't have any effect on his involvement in the team."

The comments might land Atapattu in trouble though: the Sri Lankan board is discussing the possibility of disciplinary action against him before the second Test at Hobart.

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