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World Cup 2011

Fernando could play - Jayawardene

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Pallekele

March 9, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

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."

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Posted by Ravindra on (March 11, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

Inform Samaraweera should open with Thuranga. That makes SL form solid to rock solid batting line up. Also we can prove we have the best test bastmest who cannot dismiss easily; taking risks and playing aggrislively its not a option for SL. Feel sorry for kapugadara so much talent and the best oneday player we have when it comes to talent. Today Zim & SL after Dilshan & Tharanga how many runs did our test players, 1/2 players (kabbos), overrated players scorored? Do the selectors drop them? Thats what Kapu doing past one year In and out have to do the dirty job when batting in the last few overs. Kabbobs cannot tun a game aginst quality teams and chasing anything over 250 they get stuck. PLEASE bring Kapugara and promote Mathew in the batting order otherwise we are wasting Kapugadar & Mathews talent. We saw mathew bat agist Aus aginst the World class bowlers. Kapugadra can do the same. Kapu is game changer now in the bench.

Posted by Sumal on (March 10, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

I said it before and say it again....I really don't see how Dilhara was picked over Vaas in the first place. what boxes Dilhara ticket that Vass couldn't. A decade with minimum contributions to the team... Is he a future prospect? i dont think so. So why waste the selection on him? I seriously cannot recall the last time he won a match for SL. period. His selection for all formats in the last decade ONLY looks like SLC is paying an old debt....

Posted by Roshanaara on (March 10, 2011, 7:51 GMT)

No Dilhara please.. this is a crucial match for the Sri Lankans and if something goes wrong they will have to take on NZ under tremendous pressure, which isn't advisable. Dilhara is a risk at this moment. Say NO to Dilhara !

Posted by Mausifan on (March 10, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

If Sri Lanka pick Thisera Perera in this match, SL think tanks should make a bold move in sending him up the order at No 3 as a pinch hitter. He has not made any contribution down the order of recent times & there is nothing to lose sending him up the order and everything to gain. No one knows what lies within him, like Sewag, Afridi both of whom were bowlers batting down the order.If he performs then is more than advantage going into the finals. This is something the SL think tank have to ponder upon.

Posted by Mausifan on (March 10, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

Dilhara was picked as a backup for Malinga.Hence if Malinga is injured during the quarter final phase, you can't just expect Dilhara to perform without match practice. I think it is a good move in picking Dilhara for this match, especially with the Palekelle pitch expecting some bounce.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 6:25 GMT)

Please don't include Dilahara he will spoil the Sri lankan bowling attack! has he won at least a match for Sri Lankla! Kulasekara or Thissara Perera is much more better than Dilhara.

Posted by Mohamed on (March 10, 2011, 5:17 GMT)

Mahela If you want to lose the match or give good chance to Zimbabwe to challenge Sri Lanka take Dilhara. If you want to will comfortabaly please leve this No ball guy.

Posted by Crick on (March 10, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Sri Lanka need to win this game to qualify, they should NOT be complacent, picking Dilhara would only be complacency, I thought Dilhara should against Asian teams like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, in fact he could have done a decent job when we were without Malinga against Pakistan. We should play this game like a quarter-final.

Posted by Anver on (March 10, 2011, 4:07 GMT)

I think Dilhara need some match practice b4 the important matches, so in place of Nuwan or Mendis is not a bad idea for today's game.......... Go Lanka Go !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Keith on (March 10, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

P'Kelle is a bouncy wicket. Therefore is their any logic in not going with our quickest on such a track? As for No balls, 12 extra runs for ZIM will not hurt us (or atleast I hope not) Further he needs to bowl, as we need to experiment him now, and not leave it to the knockout stages. I think MJ should go back up & open with TM. MJ did well opening so why the change now. Atleast that will help avoid TM throwing his iwcket away. If MJ does not open, and if we are to be consistent with UT, he needs to up his scoring rate. I think the bowling combo of LM, DF, MM, AM, NK, might come good on this track. I also think we should go in with Kapugedara, instead of Silva. So that completes the 11. Boy I should be a selector.

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