Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle March 25, 2012

We need to be more consistent - Jayawardene

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said performing well in the five-day format on a more consistent basis was his team's main objective. "We are mid-table which shows we haven't been consistent even though we played some really good Test cricket," Jayawardene said on the eve of the first Test against England in Galle.

"We had a good summer against England back in June-July [2011] and we won our first Test match in South Africa but in between we haven't been consistent. It is something that we will try and rectify and be more consistent as a Test-playing nation and try and climb up that ladder," he said.

Sri Lanka have slipped in the Test rankings - they are currently No.6 - following the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2010. Since then Sri Lanka have won only one Test out of 17 and lost six.

"That's something we've got to change. We knew obviously after Murali it's going to be a tough challenge for the younger bowlers," Jayawardene said. "We tried different combinations and in South Africa we had a very good combination going and the guys came out pretty good. But we need to try and be consistent with that kind of performance throughout the next 12 months."

Jayawardene said the two Test matches against England were very important for his team and players to switch back to Test cricket after playing a series of one-day matches since January. "Over the last 10 years in international cricket, we've needed to switch pretty quickly between the two forms. We had a successful one-day stint dating back to January when we played South Africa.

"These two Test matches are very important for us and for the guys to switch back on. We have about six guys who are genuine Test players who will come into the squad. They have been training hard. The rest of the boys who have been touring, it's a good challenge to switch back to the longer version."

Late last year, the Sri Lanka players hadn't been paid their salaries from the 2011 World Cup but the board has since brought the payments on track. "We have been paid until the last series in Australia and once the logistics stuff is out they will pay us the balance. We were paid last week, about 10 days back," Jayawardene said. "It is something we just couldn't control but the newly-elected board made us a promise and they kept to it and we continued playing cricket. The boys were quite happy they stuck to their promise and paid us fully."

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  • Manesh on March 26, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    Since July 2010 Sri Lanka have won only one Test out of 17 and lost six.- that says all!

  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Kepler must be talking about the current English side?

  • Mark on March 26, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    Easily said than done Sinhaya. England is well led by in my opinion the best Test Captain in world cricket today. Andrew Strauss, who I like very much. That said, Sri Lanka has got home advantage. The high humidity and heat of Sri Lanka is not something England's cricketers are used to. They have got mainly a pace bowling attack so their fitness levels will be tested to the max. This should favour Sri Lanka who are used to playing in extraordinary high levels of heat and humidity. The heat and humidity will act as 12th man for Sri Lanka no doubt. Plus we saw this particular England batting line up being struggling against high quality spin bowling and the Middle Eastern desert conditions, even though it is cooler and more pleasant in the middle east this time of year unlike in July/August in Dubai where its 40 degrees centrigade true desert heat. Yet England struggled there.SL have a high quality spin bowler in Herath who will be a key player for SL.So Tests favouring SL 1-0 or 2-0.

  • SABIR on March 25, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    the simple formula to win against england in test is just to make turning ,low and slow tracks and have the good spinners in the side also bat sensibly you can whitewash them this is exactly pak did

  • Dru on March 25, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Inconsistent batting has been SL's biggest issue and its inconsistency from the seniore experienced players such as Dilshan and Mahela which was caused the issue. SL will always struggle to get 20 wickets but without runs on the board, not much else matters.

  • Prashan on March 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Yes Mahela now all the payments are settled and clear and since the next few series to come will be at home, we are eager to see you all rock! Match your words with action. We know what the lions can do after they shocked South Africa in Durban when that Kepler Wessels said that the South African 2nd XI can beat Sri Lankan first XI! Whole of Sri Lanka is eager to see you all triumph 2-0.

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