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December 19, 2008
Mahela Jayawardene says Sri Lanka are prepared for the series in Bangladesh and ready for the challenge they expect from Bangladesh. Sri Lanka have not played Test cricket for over three months but the players were involved in the domestic season back home.
"Most of the guys had four to five games under their belt before they came here. So the preparation has been really good", Jayawardene said after the team arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday. Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a three-day tour game starting Sunday before the first of two Tests begins in Dhaka on December 26.
"The memories of beating India 2-1 [in August] are still fresh. So it is always good to think about those things and make sure that we get ourselves ready for the series."
There are six new faces in the Bangladesh squad - Junaid Siddique, Imrul Kayes, Raqibul Hasan, Mahbubul Alam, Enamul Haque jnr, Sajidul Islam - from the one that toured Sri Lanka last year. Jayawardene said his side would have to analyse the new players and it was difficult to predict what sort of challenge Bangladesh would present this time.
"Every time we played them has been a challenge for us. So we won't be complacent and won't underestimate the challenge we have got ahead of us. We have got a very good team and we just want to make sure we play good cricket."
Sri Lanka haven't lost a single game in their last four series against Bangladesh. But Jayawardene refused to predict the outcome of the Tests, or of the ODIs that follow. "I am not a captain to give predictions. I like to take one game at a time and concentrate on that. The one-day series will come later and I will think about it then. Right now it's the Test series."
He said the injured Ajantha Mendis will not be rushed back in to competitive cricket - though he could be fit for the second Test - and he placed his confidence in Rangana Herath, the replacement spinner. "The team we have here is very good. So we won't rush at this juncture. If he is fit to play, we will have a fitness test back home and I know the board will make an arrangement for him. But we don't play as individual players, we are a team that play cricket as a team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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