September 5, 2001

Sanath Jayasuriya warns against complacency

Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya has warned his players not to relax when they take on Bangladesh in their Asian Test Championship match at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Thursday.

"We badly needed a win in the series against India and we did it, but that series has finished and we now need to take this match with Bangladesh very seriously," he said.

"Bangladesh may be new to test cricket but we cannot relax," he said. "If we do then we could face problems. There is no guarantee against defeat."

"We are playing an international match and all the players want to perform well. We will just play this Test as any other international match and with 100 percent effort."

Bangladesh coach Trevor Chappell has spent two six-month stints as Sri Lanka 's fielding coach and therefore knows their strengths and weaknesses well, but for the home side, Bangladesh represents an unknown quantity.

"They have a very good batting side, but we don't know much about the individual players and that is the only problem we have," admitted Jayasuriya. "We must do the basics well and perform like we did in the last Test against India."

Sri Lanka's on concern on the eve of the Test match is the fitness of fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, who made such an impression in the first Test against India.

"Dilhara' s injury is a big concern. He has a groin strain and we will have to wait and see how is tomorrow," he said. "We have not yet got the final word from the physio."

The Sri Lankan selectors are believed to have dropped middle order batsman Russel Arnold after a poor run in which he has scored just one fifty in 24 innings.

"We will miss Russel," he admitted. "I don't look at Russel only as a batsman. We need him in the team because he contributes in so many other ways and is an excellent close in fielder who can change the match. All players, however, go through hard times occasionally.