We need to be consistent: Jayawardene

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene cautioned his team against complacency and asked them to be consistent against India in the one-dayers.

updated: August 21, 2008 15:48 IST
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Fresh from the Test-series win, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene on Sunday cautioned his team against complacency and asked them to be consistent against India in the one-dayers beginning from Monday.

"We need to be very consistent. After the World Cup we lacked a bit of consistency. Probably lack of form and a few personal changes, but no excuses," Jayawardene said ahead of the first ODI.

"We didn't consistently maintain our standards. In the Asia Cup we managed to turn things around. We were very consistent with the bat, ball and in the field. That's the toughest thing for most of the international teams, to consistently be in that competitive level. We need to do the hard work that we have done," he added.

Jayawardene said the Indians were a talented lot so his team's strategy would surround their strengths and weaknesses.

"They have got lot of talent and they play a different game. As a team, they have their strengths and weakness. That's the area that we need to focus and execute our game plan," he said.

Asked about the bowling combination, Jayawardene said Ajantha Mendis would be their trump card but also emphasised the role of batsmen in the shorter version of the game.

"It's a combined effort. Ajantha is just a trump card we have. An attacking option, but there are so many others as well," Jayawardene said.

"If you take generally, batting plays a big role. Whether you are batting first or chasing. Bowling is a factor as well. But in ODI cricket in general, putting runs on the board is crucial.

"But having a bowling attack that picks up wickets, you can fall back on that, but not everyday. We need to be very consistent," he said.

Jayawardene said the hosts would rely on veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya for getting the side great starts.

"Sanath is in form, it's a great thing. Not only with the bat, even with the ball he can contribute. The starts that he gets makes a huge different. If he stays for 10-15 overs, it's likely we get a good start. He's like (Virender) Sehwag for India. That gives a different dimension for our set up," he said.

On the Dambulla wicket, he said it would have some thing for spinners as well as seamers and it could be a low-scoring match.

"We had a look at the wicket. We need to have a chat and speak to the selectors and finalise the team. This is the first we practiced here in a while.

"The wicket seems to have a bit on in as well for both seamers and spinners and that could be a contributing factor for low scores. Having looked at the wicket, it looks good. Fresh hard wicket," he said.

"Dilhara (Fernando) is a rhythm bowler who needs lot of match practice. We want to play him as match as possible," he said.