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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

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C’wealth Bank series begins on Friday at MCG:

Lanka’s one day reputation at stake

Coach Graham Ford exudes confidence:

The Sri Lankan squad for the Commonwealth Bank one-day series arrived in Melbourne, confident that they can live up to their one-day reputation and bring down the Australians in the five-match series beginning at the MCG on Friday. Although the team, has been beaten 3-0 in the Test sees, the inclusion of new players will help them to begin the series, with the first one in Melbourne with a positive frame of mind. Coach Graham Ford who has been working hard with the team made particular mention of Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga. New and fresh faces are welcome, especially when things have not gone well. It is good to have top quality one day payers coming into the system, said the coach.

In good form

There is something to be positive about with some of the Test players who will be playing in the limited over bashes having found good form. Ford says that they have to regroup quickly and get focused on the one-day format.

Lasith Malinga

Sangakkara’s absence has given the opportunity for a couple of young players to come good. The Lankans would have loved to have Sangakkara, but his injury has ruled him out. The Lankans are very efficient in one-day cricketers as they showed in the tri-series in Australia last year which also featured India. The Lankans have some good skillful players. The Lankans could take some confidence by the fact that some of Australia’s top players will be missing either though injury or are being rested for the first two internationals.

Players missing

Players missing are Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, David Warner and Matthew Wade. Wade made a typical one-day hundred in the Sydney Test.

Ford has asked top players to concentrate on the game. He says that Lankans should not be worried whatever team Aussies put on the field. But the coach said that a couple of players Australia has fronted up are match-winners.

According to Ford, off spinner Ajantha Mendis is not guaranteed a place because the first choice will be the most successful bower in the recent Test series against Australia Rangana Herath.

Carom ball

Mendis has not played in Australia before and the Australian batsmen will not be able to read which way his cocktail of deliveries go, especially his carom ball and might find difficulty in playing him.

Ford said that Herath and Mendis are high class bowlers, but that Mendis’ selection will depend on the nature of the wicket. But the mystery spinner can come good on any surface.

The Lankans are a bit worried about the fitness of Shamindra Eranga and Nuwan Kulesekera. Eranga is recovering from a sprained ankle playing football on the eve of the Sydney Test and Kulesekera is nursing a rib injury.

The Sri Lankans have a second mystery spinner in the young Akila Dhananjaya, a Mahela Jayawardene find, and he too will come into the frame when the selectors sit to pick the team for the first one-dayer.

Melbourne, Tuesday.

 

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