Sri Lankan news January 3, 2010

Trevor Bayliss talks tough on Sanath Jayasuriya's prospects

Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, has said Sanath Jayasuriya is unlikely to be picked as a specialist opener and will have to force his way in as a spinning allrounder if he is to play the 2011 World Cup.

"As Jayasuriya has himself said on record, he is a spinning allrounder now," Bayliss said. "If he keeps performing and putting pressure on others, he can always get in. It's up to him and what pressure he can put on the others in the team."

Jayasuriya didn't make the cut for the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh, beginning Monday, and in a recent interview to Cricinfo, he said the team management should send a clear message to him about his future.

"The biggest challenge is to play the 2011 World Cup," Jayasuriya said. "Obviously if the team management wants to send me a message they should be clear about that to me, as they have been in the past.

"I am only thinking of five ODIs at a time, and if I can perform in three out those five, I'm right on track for the next World Cup."

The re-emergence of opener Upul Tharanga, it appears, has helped Sri Lanka firm up their plans for the World Cup. "Tharanga has played really well in the last series against India," Bayliss said. "His and Dilshan's opening partnership looks good for the World Cup."

Like Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene too, hasn't been in great form in the ODIs, but Bayliss said it wasn't a big concern to the team as it perhaps was to Mahela himself.

"It's a concern to Mahela and he himself would acknowledge that he has not been scoring much runs in ODIs," Bayliss said. "But he is too good a player to miss out for long. Our top three have been doing well and so perhaps there has not been enough chances for Mahela to score. But, he is not here in this series because of an injury he picked up in India; he might make an appearance some time later on the tour."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo