Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | International

SL look to Durban spirit for third test



Sri Lanka will use the example of their remarkable turnaround on their last tour of South Africa to try and rescue a face-saving third test victory against Australia, captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Wednesday.

The bruised and battered tourists were thrashed by an innings and 201-runs inside two and a half days at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) last week to give Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

They also lost four players to injury which left the captain struggling to name a side for Thursday's start to the match with wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara still major doubts.

Jayawardene said that however painful the Melbourne loss had been, a first test win for his country in Australia and a victorious end to his second stint as captain were still possible.

"The emphasis has been to try and get over that test match," Jayawardene, who will step down as skipper after the tour, told reporters. "It happened to us in Centurion last summer where we lost in two and a half days to South Africaand we bounced back in Durban to win the test match.

"So it's about guys owning responsibility and doing something about it. We are up against a strong Australian side, who are playing some really good cricket. We need to play to our potential and show we can stand up to that."

Sri Lanka lost by an innings in Cape Town in late 2011 before beating the South Africans by 208 runs in Durban, although they lost the third test and the series.

Jayawardene conceded the Sri Lankans had not been at their best in Australia and to make the most of prolific wicket-taker Rangana Herath's spin bowling, they needed to be in the match in the closing stages.

"If you sit down and look at what we've achieved in this series, it's not hard to say that we haven't done enough and that we need to stand up and be counted," he said.

"The best way that we can win a test match is to try and create a situation for Rangana on a slow turner so we just have to make sure, until the fourth or fifth day, we execute a good game plan and stay in the game," he said.

Although Prasanna would need a late fitness test to determine if he could play at all let alone keep wickets with an injured thumb, Dinesh Chandimal will definitely replace the injured Kumar Sangakkara, Jayawardene said.

"He's a middle-order batsman who we've always wanted to invest in," said the captain.

"Prasanna did not keep wickets the other day, we wanted to give him a couple of days to see how his finger is doing.

"Today he'll have a fitness test to see whether he can bat and keep ... (and) once we'll make a call on Prasanna then we'll decide where we need to go with that extra vacant position in the line-up."

Whoever was selected, the outgoing captain said the Sri Lankans must make their huge batting experience count.

"We can't control how the Aussies are going to bowl but we can control how we bat against it," he said.

"The last two or three tests have been a bit of a blip but our strong point has always been our batting, that's where our experience lies and that's where we control a lot of the test matches. We need to take that control back."

Shop

The Proteas
20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches by Neil Manthorp
R171.00
The extraordinary book of SA cricket
The Extraordinary Book of South African Cricket is the perfect gift for any cricket fanatic.
R140.00
Jackers - A Life in Cricket
Robin Jackman has been entertaining cricket followers for more than forty years
R169.00
Bouch
Through my eyes
R147.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Haze's Comment
Review the review system
We have reached a critical time in our game. This DRS nonsense must now be sorted out once and for...

Kepler Wessels
Proteas are streets ahead
When the number one test team in world cricket meets the side ranked eighth on home soil one...

Neil Manthorp
Reasons not to celebrate
This should be a time to celebrate everything good about South African cricket, from the genius of...

Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Any answers from tour of NZ & Aus?
It is very true that nobody likes to lose, not even in a kick-about game in the park. So the loss...

Faf du Plessis
All on track for the Friendly City
Greetings from Port Elizabeth, where the weather is currently good and all looks on track for a...

Neil Down Under
Week 2
Hashim Amla said after Sydney’s ODI that the series had been “closer than the scoreline would...