Mahela Jayawardene expects Australia to attack like 'wounded soldiers'

Mahela Jayawardene

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene today 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.

Jayawardene, also 35, said he will consider his future as captain after the Australia tour which includes three Tests, five one day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.

"After this, we get a well-deserved four weeks off, after about three years, so it gives me a bit of time to think what I need to do," he told reporters.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.