Jayawardene eyes cleansweep
Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, says his team will not sit back on its 1-0 lead and will aim for a 2-0 result when the Test series concludes in Port of Spain from Thursday. "It is important that we go for a win in the second Test," Jayawardene told AFP. "This is the way we play cricket. We want to win every match in which we play. This is the attitude with which we play whether we are playing at home or away."
Sri Lanka won their first Test in the West Indies with a 121-run success in Guyana and Jayawardene said the desire to succeed had helped his team post overseas triumphs in recent years "This is the attitude that has helped us in the last few years, and this is why we have been winning Test matches away from home, and we will not move away from this attitude," he said.
"We want to get accustomed to the conditions in Trinidad. We'll make sure we do all the hard work and challenge West Indies, and see if we can win this Test series 2-0."
A victory would make Sri Lanka the first visiting side to complete a cleansweep in the West Indies. Australia came close five years ago when they won the first three Tests, but a record-breaking chase in the final match in Antigua ended their hopes of a whitewash.
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, said his side needed to be optimistic and tougher than in Guyana. "I believe that if we can remain positive and focus, we can win the Test," Gayle said. "It's a must-win situation for us to square the series. We'll try and see what Sri Lanka has to offer a second time around both in the batting and bowling, so it is just for us to return to the drawing board, and come up with a plan, and come prepared to play a tough Test."
Jayawardene said there would be no let-up in intensity from his side. "We are going to pay attention to all areas of our game, and see where we can tighten-up," he said. "This is how we work. The first Test is finished, and the next venue is totally different, and conditions will be totally different."
The visitors will be boosted by the familiarity of the Queen's Park Oval, which reminds them of Muttiah Muralitharan's home ground. "It is definitely Kandy," Jayawardene said. "We always enjoy playing in Kandy because the bowlers have a little bit of help, but once the batsmen put up the initial hard work it's going to be a good batting surface."
Sri Lanka are expected to make one change with Prasanna Jayawardene likely to be forced out with a hamstring injury. "He is struggling, he's probably 80% fit but he's a wicketkeeper, he needs to do a lot of work in a Test match, so we have to make a decision," Mahela Jayawardene said.
"We've got an adequate replacement. Kumar is a wicketkeeper who can do the job for us, so I don't think we need to take too many risks in that department. We've got the extra batsman, Chamara Silva, who has been scoring runs, it's a bit unfortunate to leave him out of the first Test team. He will get his opportunity to play and I'm sure he is looking forward to that."