Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Brisbane January 17, 2013

Ready for full-strength Australia - Jayawardene


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said his side is undaunted by the return of Australia's captain and several of their other key players for the third ODI in Brisbane, and is confident Sri Lanka can maintain the momentum earned with their eight-wicket victory in Adelaide on Sunday.

Michael Clarke sat out the first two games as he recovered from a hamstring strain, while David Warner was also rested for the first two ODIs. Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson were also left out for the second ODI in Adelaide, and will likely return for Friday's match at the Gabba.

Sri Lanka suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of what was held by some to be an Australia 'B' team in Melbourne, before they rebounded to level the series comfortably. But Jayawardene said it would be his side's good form in Australia in recent years that has Sri Lanka believing they can achieve a series win. The teams have played each other in 12 ODIs in Australia since 2010, and Sri Lanka have won on seven of those occasions.

"It's good to have Davy [Warner] and Michael back, but we'll prepare the same way," Jayawardene said. "When we played them last year, we had a good outing against them. We just need to change our game plan a little bit and execute those plans to those guys."

Jayawardene said a turnaround from the bowlers had been key to his side's impressive second performance, where they dismissed Australia for 170 on a seam-friendly pitch. Sri Lanka have three allrounders in their preferred XI in addition to three frontline bowlers, and also have the offspin of Tillakaratne Dilshan at their disposal, giving Jayawardene seven reliable bowling options in all.

"In Melbourne, we were not up to standard. Especially with the ball - we bowled too many four balls. In Adelaide we had a bit more help from the surface and we bowled good areas and created opportunities. If we can keep up that pressure with the spinners we have and the allrounders, we have a well-balanced side. Even though we are missing players through injury, and are fiddling around a little with our line-up, we're pretty comfortable."

Sri Lanka are unsure about the fitness of Dinesh Chandimal, who sustained a hamstring strain in the course of making a half-century in the first ODI. Chandimal missed the Adelaide match, with reserve keeper Kushal Janith Perera stepping in, and had not yet returned to full fitness on the eve of the Brisbane match.

"We haven't decided on an XI because we want to give Dinesh another 24 hours to see how he pulls up. He did bat yesterday and had a few run-throughs, and he pulled up pretty well. We just wanted to give him a little more time. Kushal kept wickets pretty well and batted pretty well, but we'll make the final call when we see the pitch, and we can decide if we need to change our combination with the bowling attack."

Jayawardene has also been a vocal critic of the new ODI rule that only allows four fielders outside the 30-yard circle at any time in the match, and his opinion on the issue had not changed since his side played the first match under the new regulations in October last year.

"I'm not a big fan of the new rule. I thought the last product we had was pretty decent. The two new balls gives the quicks a bit more venom - which is great, but the downside with the field restrictions is that the spinners are taken away from the game. It's challenging, but I think it's restricting the bowlers more and the batsmen are having a free hand."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prashan on January 18, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Yes Mahela you won today, BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! You must win 4-1 ideally.

  • Lalith on January 18, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Sl will loose from this position.

  • Rishi on January 18, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    @Danushka Thotamune: The answer to all your questions is very simple, and based on undisputed facts. WI and AUS remains the best teams as always. AUS has best win to loss ratio followed by WI, ENG, SA, and PAK. Now IND is at the bottom of pile with worst win to loss ratio, and most white-washed cricket team in the entire of history of cricket. The only Asian team which white washed AUS is PAK, and that is some 30 years ago. Any Asian team never won a Test series against AUS in AUS. Having said that SL is a very promising team, the decline in their cricket is because of they have played too much cricket with a mediocre team like IND between 2003 to mid of 2011. SL needs to play more cricket with WI, PAK, and BD to be competitive again. SL made a mistake by cancelling the test matches against SA.

  • Adrian on January 18, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    I have to question the merits of resting so many players. It is like they didn't take Sri Lanka, or this series, seriously. Playing Cutting had some merit but I really am bemused that Kane Richardson got a go, especially given that an alternative, Alistair McDermott, was available, with a far superior record to anyone else in Australian state cricket. Moises Henriques is a pretty big risk too, though, as I said previously, he did do well in the Champions Trophy and fingers crossed he is a big game player.

  • disco on January 18, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    @Rise-of-Sinhaya, "... already proved we are better in tests than you by losing only 3-0" This is one of my all time favourite comments.

  • John on January 17, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    It's Jayawardene's job to be optimistic before a game- what captain goes into a game saying that his team is going to lose? However, the reality is that Sri Lanka's success in the last ODI had more to do with the conditions than anything else. The damp weather meant that SL's medium pacers were able to move the ball in the air and off the pitch and Aus didn't have the experience or the quality of batting to cope with it.

    The Gabba is going to be dry and the wicket will be true. That plays to Australia's strength and not Sri Lanka's. It would be a great achievement by SL to win in these conditions. Aus has to be favoured going into the game.

  • sam on January 17, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    @Sid_markit, Mate do you have nothing better to do than quarrel with SL fans? You know what helps, mutual admiration helps! I think SL has always produced excellent batsman and they are continuing the tradition with Thirimanne, Mathews, Chandimal and Karunaratne. It's nice to see. But their bowling is as always not good enough to be a strong test team.

  • Suss on January 17, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    @Danushka Thotamune: Couldn't agree with you more mate. The quality of cricketers produced by Sri lanka is absolutely outstanding and if someone doesn't think thats true, then they must be foolish. During the space of 30 years Sri lankan cricket has produced the best Bowler, broken many many records and created a completley different style of cricket by agressive batting. I don't want to start a population argument but it's stunning how a small island comes up with such brilliant cricketers every year, just when you think Sri lanka lack mystery cricketers come through like Murali, Malinga, Mendis and now Dananjaya. During the last couple of Years, our players haven't had the comforts like the Indians and Australians have had through highly paid cricket boards. But playing the brand of cricket and showing passion for the game last year in the CB series and WT20 without being paid for 2 years is unbelievable. So I respect our team whatever happens in the future.

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    @ Sid_mark, vrn59 i, pandez - you are talking about results.let me paint you a clear picture. 1) when india got the test status ? 2) when Srilanka got the test status ? 3) How many TEST Matches India played with Eng,Aus,Sou ? 4) How many TEST Matches Srilanka played with Eng,Aus,Sou ? 5) What is the wining % of india ? 6) What is the wining % of Srilanka ? 7) Which country(Sri or ind) won they are 1st test much in least no of Matches ?

    find the answer to these questions.India has to Compare with Australia,England,South Africa Coz they started playing cricket before india.dont compare with Srilanka.then srilanka has to compare with Zimbabwe & Bangladesh.coz they started to play cricket after srilanka.

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    @Sinhaya, mate do you really think Mahela and Sanga are selfish players ?? You really don't have to worry about them im petty sure that they will not play until aged 38. Don't think they are like Tendulkar and Jayasuriya. They are gentlemen's of the game.

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