Jagran Post

Sri Lanka brace for 'wounded' Australia

Sydney: Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene on Wednesday said he expected Australia to attack his men like "wounded soldiers" after their hard-fought loss to South Africa and the retirement of Ricky Ponting.
     
Australia suffered a 309-run defeat in the third and deciding Test against South Africa which ended Monday, losing the series 1-0.
     
It allowed the Proteas to retain the number one world ranking and meant 17-year veteran Ponting was not given the send-off the team wanted.
     
Ahead of a three-day tour match against a Chairman's XI in Canberra, Jayawardene said Sri Lanka, who are yet to win a Test in Australia, would not be complacent.
     
"I see them as wounded soldiers -- they could come back stronger against us," he told reporters, adding that even without Ponting Australia were still a "decent lineup".
     
"Australia will come hard at us, especially after the (last South Africa) Test because of what happened to them. We need to brace for that and make sure we handle those tough situations."
     
Sri Lanka begin their tour just days after being beaten by New Zealand in Colombo in the second of a two-Test series which ended 1-1.
     
Prolific batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who earlier this year won the International Cricket Council's Cricketer of the Year award, disappointed against the Black Caps, scoring only 21 runs over three innings.
     
Jayawardene said the 35-year-old batsman-wicketkeeper would be out to prove something in Australia.
    
 "I am happy that he went through a lean phase because he'll be really hungry for runs -- that's Kumar for you," he said.

(Agencies)

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