Aussies wary of Sri Lanka

Mahelas men look to bounce back from four-wicket loss to India

A confident Australia will look to extend their winning run when they face Sri Lanka in their second match in the triangular series at the WACA ground here on Friday.

Australia had drubbed India in the series opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by 65 runs in a truncated match, while Sri Lanka couldn’t capitalise on India’s lethargy at WACA, losing by four wickets on Wednesday.

But Michael Clarke, the home skipper, wasn’t ready to take the Islanders lightly. “I know it’s a different form of the game, and we’ve played a fair bit against Sri Lanka obviously over there recently. We looked at a lot of footage yesterday of the Sri Lankan team, so everyone in our change room knows our opposition, knows their strengths and weaknesses and what we need to do to beat them,” Clarke said.

Considering the success the Australian pace bowlers recently had against India at Perth, it would have been tempting for Clarke to field an all-pace attack on the morrow. But the New South Welshman rejected the idea, confirming that left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty would play.

Clarke, however, was confident his young pace attack has grown leaps and bounds over the last few months, a factor he stressed upon to highlight Australia’s edge going into the morrow’s match. He said the games against India and Sri Lanka will help the young bowlers mature fast in the international arena.

“This attack has played one game together. So, we'll see over time. It's two very good one-day oppositions that we're playing against and they're going to give us a real test. We've got to be at our best with both bat and ball to beat both these teams,” Clarke said.

Though defeated by India, Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene was confident about his side’s ability to stage a comeback, and register a win over Australia, the world’s number one 50-over side. Jayawardene asserted that Lanka needed to play smart cricket to get past Australia.

“We have to be smart to beat them. We know what their strengths are. We know what our strengths are.

“It’s all about how you are going to apply yourself on the day. You get into different situations in a match. Certain situations, we didn’t handle well against India. That’s why they won the game.

“Against Australia, we will be in certain situations, we have to handle them in a much smarter and better way. We must try and be on top of them, and try and finish the game off,”said Jayawardene.

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