Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo April 2, 2012

We'll try and win - Jayawardene

23

Mahela Jayawardene has insisted that Sri Lanka will shelve all notion of playing for a draw in the second Test against England at the P Sara Oval even though that is all they need to secure their first series victory since 2009.

"We'll try and win the series 2-0 as that's when we play our best cricket," he said. "When you are playing a team like England you have to be aggressive, play to win from ball one and look to get in front of them. That's what we will try to do.

"As a team we need to be consistent. It is important for us to have a really good Test match and we'll play to win. To do that we need to do a lot of hard work like we did in Galle. We were put under pressure in certain situations and we came up strong."

Since they beat New Zealand 2-0 in 2009 Sri Lanka have lost five and drawn two Test series. They inflicted England's fourth straight defeat with their 75-run victory in Galle and can knock them off the top of the world rankings with a series victory. Jayawardene believes they remain a huge threat and said the difficulties they have had in Asia is like a team from the subcontinent struggling overseas.

"In the last few years they beat Australia in Australia and they played very good cricket in South Africa as well. They play really well in English conditions," he said. "There are five or six teams in the world who are playing some really good cricket and on any given day in different conditions they can beat each other. That's good for the game.

"England have set standards in the last two years. It's been difficult for them away from home in the subcontinent but for us it's about challenging them and moving on. When we play in conditions which are tougher for us, it's up to us to try and go and challenge ourselves and be consistent. That's a good balance to have."

Jayawardene expected the pitch at the P Sara Oval, which is staging its first Test since 2010, to offer something for batsmen and bowlers. The day before the game cracks were appearing as the surface dried out and they could provide some inconsistent bounce as the match wears on.

"For batsmen it gives good value for shots with a fast outfield," he said. "Most of our tracks have been result-oriented in the last six or seven years."

Sri Lanka will make two changes to their side with Angelo Mathews and Dhammika Prasad replacing Dinesh Chandimal and the injured Chanaka Welegedara. Jayawardene said Mathews would most likely to be played as a specialist batsman but had been bowling in the nets and added he would "see how he felt".

When Mathews was ruled out of the first Test the chairman of selectors, Ashantha de Mel, said his bowling days could be over although with seven wickets at 71.57 that would not be a major loss. A Test average of 39.85 after 22 Tests, with a career-best 105 not out against Australia is a solid base from which to build a career as a specialist batsman. Although he has replaced Chandimal for this Test, they are the future of Sri Lanka's middle order.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ElBeeDubya on April 3, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    @KingOwl stole my thoughts. Dropping Chandimal could be better for him in the long run. He has the potential but he needs to fine tune his temperament to be able to play long innings while Mathews has the more suitable game at the moment. Mathews is the incumbent and Chandimal did not do enough to grab the opportunity so Chandimal cannot blame anyone.

  • Simoc on April 3, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    If Mathews was the incumbent in the side and only not selected because of injury then he should return when ready. Chandimal certainly looks the goods and will soon be in the team when another player is dropped. In this instance he may have been filling in for an injured player in the first test.

  • randikaayya on April 3, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    While being overly expressively about selection, SL fans need to take a wider perspective on these matters as well. I too feel that Mathews hasn't done enough to replace Chandimal and to come into the side as a specialist batsman. I think its wise for everyone to reserve their comments till the game is over. I believe the best alternative for Chandimal right now is to re-invent himself as a test opener as Sanath did several years ago. We have a real vaccum upfront with Sanga failing consistently

  • on April 3, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Looks like the selectors have made another blunder with selections. Is Mathew's fully fit to play? Isn't this killing the the enthusiasm of a youngster like Chandimal. There are batsmen who have fared worse to be dropped if needed.

  • satish619chandar on April 3, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    Why rush Mathews? Retain the 11 which won the game comprehensively and complete the series.. Allow Mathews to get good rest and comeback stronger..

  • denwarlo70 on April 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Yet another selection blunder.Chandimal dropped?????? What in the world is the thinking pattern of the selectors????? Yes, he is so young and have a long way ahead but how is he to see to that long future of his if he is dropped and not allowed to prove or perform?? I really don't know what's happening at SLC...a disappointed Sri Lankan

  • KingOwl on April 3, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Here we go again. All the 'expert' fans commenting about selection. Chandimal was dropped because of his poor shot selection. Mathews will be much more solid down the order. Chandimal is a better batsman than Thirimanna. But if Thirimanna is dropped, then who opens? Chandimal? That would be dumb. If Thirimanna was dropped, Paranawithana will have to be brought in. I think that would have been a serious option. But that does not solve the issue with Chandimal. He competes with Mathews for that spot in the lower middle order and it is clear that Mathews has better test match temperament at this stage of his career than Chandimal. So, good selection.

  • Gloryof96 on April 2, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    Yes, Thirimanna is not a natural opener and could be better prospect in the middle order like Thillekeratne or a Samaraweera. Chandimal is natural No.3/4 for me where you play your best batters (e.g. Richards, Bradman, Lara, Miandad, Tendulkar, Jayawardena, Sanga, Kallis ......)

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    wwe will never be succesfull with these kind of selectors

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    what the hell? whose stupid decision was it to drop Chandimal? they could have dropped Thirimanne instead! it's decisions like this from the selectors that make it hard for Sri Lanka to be a good team. Chandimal is one of the most talented young cricketers at present in the international stage, so give him a chance to improve. He has already proved how good a batsman he is. Very poor decision to drop him! I was shocked to hear the news!

  • ElBeeDubya on April 3, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    @KingOwl stole my thoughts. Dropping Chandimal could be better for him in the long run. He has the potential but he needs to fine tune his temperament to be able to play long innings while Mathews has the more suitable game at the moment. Mathews is the incumbent and Chandimal did not do enough to grab the opportunity so Chandimal cannot blame anyone.

  • Simoc on April 3, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    If Mathews was the incumbent in the side and only not selected because of injury then he should return when ready. Chandimal certainly looks the goods and will soon be in the team when another player is dropped. In this instance he may have been filling in for an injured player in the first test.

  • randikaayya on April 3, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    While being overly expressively about selection, SL fans need to take a wider perspective on these matters as well. I too feel that Mathews hasn't done enough to replace Chandimal and to come into the side as a specialist batsman. I think its wise for everyone to reserve their comments till the game is over. I believe the best alternative for Chandimal right now is to re-invent himself as a test opener as Sanath did several years ago. We have a real vaccum upfront with Sanga failing consistently

  • on April 3, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Looks like the selectors have made another blunder with selections. Is Mathew's fully fit to play? Isn't this killing the the enthusiasm of a youngster like Chandimal. There are batsmen who have fared worse to be dropped if needed.

  • satish619chandar on April 3, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    Why rush Mathews? Retain the 11 which won the game comprehensively and complete the series.. Allow Mathews to get good rest and comeback stronger..

  • denwarlo70 on April 3, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Yet another selection blunder.Chandimal dropped?????? What in the world is the thinking pattern of the selectors????? Yes, he is so young and have a long way ahead but how is he to see to that long future of his if he is dropped and not allowed to prove or perform?? I really don't know what's happening at SLC...a disappointed Sri Lankan

  • KingOwl on April 3, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Here we go again. All the 'expert' fans commenting about selection. Chandimal was dropped because of his poor shot selection. Mathews will be much more solid down the order. Chandimal is a better batsman than Thirimanna. But if Thirimanna is dropped, then who opens? Chandimal? That would be dumb. If Thirimanna was dropped, Paranawithana will have to be brought in. I think that would have been a serious option. But that does not solve the issue with Chandimal. He competes with Mathews for that spot in the lower middle order and it is clear that Mathews has better test match temperament at this stage of his career than Chandimal. So, good selection.

  • Gloryof96 on April 2, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    Yes, Thirimanna is not a natural opener and could be better prospect in the middle order like Thillekeratne or a Samaraweera. Chandimal is natural No.3/4 for me where you play your best batters (e.g. Richards, Bradman, Lara, Miandad, Tendulkar, Jayawardena, Sanga, Kallis ......)

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    wwe will never be succesfull with these kind of selectors

  • on April 2, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    what the hell? whose stupid decision was it to drop Chandimal? they could have dropped Thirimanne instead! it's decisions like this from the selectors that make it hard for Sri Lanka to be a good team. Chandimal is one of the most talented young cricketers at present in the international stage, so give him a chance to improve. He has already proved how good a batsman he is. Very poor decision to drop him! I was shocked to hear the news!

  • 3rd_man on April 2, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    Agree with most of you guys. what a stupid decision to drop Chandimal? I mean what has he done wrong. yeah he played some rash shots last game but the guy got some valuable runs for SL. what other batsman done except MJ, Thilan and Prasanna to be there in the side? If mathews play purely as a batsman his record is not very good in the recent past. yeah he did well against Australia at home. but Chandimal did nothing to loose out like this. Who is saying Thirimanna is an opening batsman? has he played outstanding innings to rate him as an opener? his record shows he is an average opener. then he suite more in to middle order. why not Chandimal open? he was very successful opening or No 3 whole his carrier. I am very sure he can be very good cos he can play long innings. Dilshan was middle order batsman, look what happened after he start opening. it s all about success. not looking at what position player played as a young cricketer. why change winning combination?

  • Lord.emsworth on April 2, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    Everyone in the cricket world who has seen Chandimal play and produce so consistently must be thinking what on earth of a stupid chief selector SL is to drop him. De Mel seems to revell in breaking careers. If any batsmen was to be dropped it ought to have been Thirimanne & the batting order re-shuffled. Mahela also surely influences selection. Perhaps he had a hand in it too or..?

  • on April 2, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    Regarding Matthews it is too early to rush him. On his all-round ability sorry to say he is a mediocre bowler at test level. His stats prove that beyond doubt. But in ODIs and T20s he is a completely a different player. As a test batsman he still has to prove his worth and I agree with De Mel's comments. If there happened to be stiff competition he could miss out. He is not a Shane Watson who on a given day can take 5 wickets in a test match. At the most he could do a good holding job and take some burden off other pacemen. Regarding Dilshan he is no where near a test class opener just a hit and miss player. He may fire on odd occasion but that is not good enough. Either he should be moved down the order to No.6, which is generally a position suited for an attacking batsman or else risk being dropped if he contiinues to fail. Chandimal is very unfortunate to miss out and we should have played him in place of Mathews/Thirimanne. We cannot afford to be 3 down for nothing always.

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Mahela speaking nonsense as usual. Somebody needed to remind Chandimal that the ODIs are over.

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    stupid selection to drop chandimal for mathews..i think both shud play .better to drop thirimanne did nothing in galle and was very avg agnst spin .. chandimal can open ..he had desent start in both inngs in galle and unfortunately got himself out..he was a big player in last SA test too that we won .mahela and de mel agn select avg bats ahead of talent ..P

  • lankanlioncric on April 2, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    winning at home isnt really winning.winning at home is equal to draw.

    i think its right to give chance to thirimanne, he needs more experience than chandimal. chandimal is a good batsman n better than thirimanne, eventhough he have alot to prove

  • stormy16 on April 2, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    I dont see how SL can drop Chandimal when he has done well over the past few months and more importantly Mathews hasnt played any cricket for a long time. I would drop Lahiru and play Chandimal even if he has to open - he cant possibly do worse than either Dilshan or Lahiru has done in the recent past. The other consideration is if Eranga shouldnt be given a chance - no SL fast bowler is going to have a major impact and Eranga showed enough in his first test before getting injured and is worth a shot.

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    prasad, lakmal, thirimanne: pls prove it isnt an idiotic selection.

  • shajw on April 2, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    With the middle-order looking pretty solid and given the difficulties finding a regular opening bat to partner Dilshan, perhaps this is the right time to experiment with Chandimal opening - it certainly worked for Australia, transforming Shane Watson into a far more mature and responsible bat once he moved up the order. I would also love to see Eranga in the side, alongside Dhammika Prasad. I think Lakmal has great potential, but he needs to beef up his physical strength - at the moment, he is not a very scary prospect at 130 - 135kmph... He reminds me of Jimmy Anderson when he first started out - lots of skill but not enough upper-body strength. Jimmy was taken out of the side and a lot of time was invested in building him up - when he returned, he was twice his size and had added a yard of pace, which has resulted in him becoming the foremost opening swing bowler in the game today...

  • yorkslanka on April 2, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    i also think its harsh that Chandimal misses out if he does so..yes he played two silly shots to give his wickets in the fiirst test but he is on a learning curve and scored reasonable runs in the process..Eranga should be in ahead of prasad if its only two quicks..personally i think we should play three..time will tell...good luck SL for the 2-0

  • on April 2, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    For me, the most sensational all-rounder to watch out for, in the next few years in world cricket is Angelo Mathews. After Beefy no one has impressed me so much to done the hat of a TRUE all-rounder. I sincerely hope, Ashanta de Mel's comment that "Mathews bowling days could be over" is just a friendly cautionary suggestion from a senior, and not a prescient observation.

  • on April 2, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    I feel insread of Prasad or Eranga SL shoula gone for the third spinner in Ajantha Mendis or Seekuge Prassanna. Either would be a handful for the POMS in Sri Lankan conditions. Matthews or even Tirimanne could have bowled a few over with the new ball. Feel for Dinesh Chandimal, he has made no mistake to warrant exclusion.

  • jerryman on April 2, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Dinesh should play , maybe Thirimanne should be excluded from playing side. Dinesh or Mahela can open with Dilshan ... maybe Eranga should be given a chance as he has some pace... Good luck to both teams ...

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  • jerryman on April 2, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Dinesh should play , maybe Thirimanne should be excluded from playing side. Dinesh or Mahela can open with Dilshan ... maybe Eranga should be given a chance as he has some pace... Good luck to both teams ...

  • on April 2, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    I feel insread of Prasad or Eranga SL shoula gone for the third spinner in Ajantha Mendis or Seekuge Prassanna. Either would be a handful for the POMS in Sri Lankan conditions. Matthews or even Tirimanne could have bowled a few over with the new ball. Feel for Dinesh Chandimal, he has made no mistake to warrant exclusion.

  • on April 2, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    For me, the most sensational all-rounder to watch out for, in the next few years in world cricket is Angelo Mathews. After Beefy no one has impressed me so much to done the hat of a TRUE all-rounder. I sincerely hope, Ashanta de Mel's comment that "Mathews bowling days could be over" is just a friendly cautionary suggestion from a senior, and not a prescient observation.

  • yorkslanka on April 2, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    i also think its harsh that Chandimal misses out if he does so..yes he played two silly shots to give his wickets in the fiirst test but he is on a learning curve and scored reasonable runs in the process..Eranga should be in ahead of prasad if its only two quicks..personally i think we should play three..time will tell...good luck SL for the 2-0

  • shajw on April 2, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    With the middle-order looking pretty solid and given the difficulties finding a regular opening bat to partner Dilshan, perhaps this is the right time to experiment with Chandimal opening - it certainly worked for Australia, transforming Shane Watson into a far more mature and responsible bat once he moved up the order. I would also love to see Eranga in the side, alongside Dhammika Prasad. I think Lakmal has great potential, but he needs to beef up his physical strength - at the moment, he is not a very scary prospect at 130 - 135kmph... He reminds me of Jimmy Anderson when he first started out - lots of skill but not enough upper-body strength. Jimmy was taken out of the side and a lot of time was invested in building him up - when he returned, he was twice his size and had added a yard of pace, which has resulted in him becoming the foremost opening swing bowler in the game today...

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    prasad, lakmal, thirimanne: pls prove it isnt an idiotic selection.

  • stormy16 on April 2, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    I dont see how SL can drop Chandimal when he has done well over the past few months and more importantly Mathews hasnt played any cricket for a long time. I would drop Lahiru and play Chandimal even if he has to open - he cant possibly do worse than either Dilshan or Lahiru has done in the recent past. The other consideration is if Eranga shouldnt be given a chance - no SL fast bowler is going to have a major impact and Eranga showed enough in his first test before getting injured and is worth a shot.

  • lankanlioncric on April 2, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    winning at home isnt really winning.winning at home is equal to draw.

    i think its right to give chance to thirimanne, he needs more experience than chandimal. chandimal is a good batsman n better than thirimanne, eventhough he have alot to prove

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    stupid selection to drop chandimal for mathews..i think both shud play .better to drop thirimanne did nothing in galle and was very avg agnst spin .. chandimal can open ..he had desent start in both inngs in galle and unfortunately got himself out..he was a big player in last SA test too that we won .mahela and de mel agn select avg bats ahead of talent ..P

  • on April 2, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Mahela speaking nonsense as usual. Somebody needed to remind Chandimal that the ODIs are over.