Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Mirpur December 25, 2008

'We will go out there with an open mind' - Jayawardene

Cricinfo staff


Mahela Jayawardene: "I know they [Bangladesh] make mistakes but there are cricketers who have made hundreds and taken five wickets against us so I must say the quality is there © AFP
 

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said his team will not be taking Bangladesh lightly in the upcoming two-Test series, the first of which begins on Friday in Dhaka.

"We don't underestimate the strength of Bangladesh and what they are capable of doing, so we just need to focus on the gameplan that we want to play, and try and execute it," he said.

"We will go out there with an open mind. Bangladesh have some quality players. I know they make mistakes but there are cricketers who have made hundreds and taken five wickets against us so I must say the quality is there. That's why we have to be focused and have to ensure that we put pressure on them from the very beginning, and don't give them any advantage."

Jayawardene indicated the team composition for the first match had nearly been decided, but a final call would be taken only after analysing the pitch. "We know about the 90% of our combination but we wanted to wait and see how the wicket is going to come out and then will make a final decision," he said.

"Well, even the Bangladesh players will tell you that it is difficult to predict how the pitch will behave as it has been under cover for so long. It is also new for me because I haven't played here before so we'll wait and see how it goes."

Sri Lanka is expected to go in with two specialist spinners - Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath, who picked up 6 for 16 in the warm-up match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI.

"I think any wicket slows down if you play on it for five days, and you know it will probably take spin and when you have quality spinners you should make use of them. That's something we're going to consider," said Jayawardene.

"Obviously, Rangana [Herath] bowled really well in the warm-up game and you have Murali [Muttiah Muralitharan] in your side, so I think we will go for what we think is the best combination for this Test."

Sri Lanka will be looking to maintain their unbeaten Test record against Bangladesh. The two have played 10 matches, the last being the victory in Kandy by an innings and 193 runs in July 2007.

The second Test of the series begins on January 3 in Chittagong.