ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
World Cup 2011
Fernando could play - Jayawardene
Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Pallekele
March 9, 2011
Mahela Jayawardene has revealed Sri Lanka have not decided on their combination for Thursday's match against Zimbabwe in Pallekele, but said having several options is proving to be a 'healthy headache' for the team.
"We have a lot of options in the spin and pace departments. We will employ them based on the opposition and the conditions," vice-captain Jayawardene said. "Lasith [Malinga] coming back to the team has given us more options, which is great.
"Dilhara [Fernando] has a good chance as it's a very bouncy wicket. That's something we will take into consideration when looking at what is the best combination going forward. [Nuwan] Kulasekara and Thisara [Perera] have bowled well given the conditions and have been picking up wickets so it will be a toss-up. So many options are a healthy headache rather than a nasty one. That's not something many captains have."
Sri Lanka, he said, would not underestimate Zimbabwe. "They are a very good, all-round side. We've come across them quite often and they can be a surprise package. We are not taking anything lightly; we just want to concentrate on our performances and execute a game plan."
Sri Lanka are one of the few teams that have not been forced to replace injured players so far this World Cup, and Jayawardene said they had taken the necessary precautions before the tournament began. "In our preparation for the World Cup we did a lot of work with fitness and monitoring the workload of some of our players who have a history with certain injuries. We looked after them and at the same time we made sure they played enough cricket.
"Lasith [Malinga] had an issue in the first few games, so we made sure that he is rested properly before he got back into things. But we can't control injuries so there is no point worrying about it. If someone is injured, there will be somebody to put their hands up and perform. Fortunately most of our guys are doing well."
Sri Lanka have had two easy victories over the Associates so far, but slipped up against Pakistan and were stopped by the rain from competing against Australia. Jayawardene said the team had not peaked yet, but the length of the tournament meant improving along the way was the key. "We have been consistent but still there is room for improvement. It's such a long tournament, it's important that we be consistent and try and get better going forward, because there are big, tough games coming up in a few weeks. The batting we can improve in terms of getting guys to bat long periods and making sure we have big partnerships."
Since the retirement of Sri Lanka's big two batsmen there has been a lot of talk about what the new-look line-up needs to do, but the end product has been harder to find