Sri Lankans happy to be underdogs

Sri Lankans happy to be underdogs

Sri Lanka face South Africa, New Zealand and England in Group B, with only the hosts ranked above them in the International Cricket Council (ICC) standings.

But South Africa, India and Australia have been installed as favourites to win the second most important 50-over tournament on the cricket calendar.

"It works in our favour not to be mentioned as favourites because we will be able to operate under the radar and there will not be too much attention given to us," Sangakkara told a news conference.

"Playing on such a great stage will automatically mean teams will be out to show and highlight what they can do, and it will be all about handling of pressure."

Sri Lanka play the opening match against South Africa in Centurion on Tuesday and are in good form while the hosts have not been in action since the World Twenty20 in June.
But Sangakkara said form would not matter when the teams take to the field for the day/night match.

"Everyone in our team is confident, but our recent wins are not going to count for anything," he said.

"Everyone here is a professional unit and whether they have played recently or not won't matter because you are always in training and up to the challenge of playing.

"It is nice to have had a bit of cricket, but the only advantage of that is that we have been competing under pressure."

Although the conditions in South Africa are generally not similar to those in Sri Lanka, Sangakkara said he was confident in his squad.

"Fast bowling is now one of our main strengths," he said. "We now have bowlers who can bowl at 140kph-plus and they have the accuracy and firepower,” he said.