Jayasuriya faces new test

Jayasuriya faces new test

Jayasuriya faces new test

Jayasuriya will come out to bat in the middle-order much in the role of an all-rounder, a test he has not faced in the last 15 years.

After Arjuna Ranatunga promoted him to the totem pole position, the veteran has made the opening slot his own. But now he has to relinquish it for the young Upul Taranga, who showed good form at the top against Pakistan at home a few months ago.

But 40 summers has not diminished the fighting spirit of this left-hander. “It is unlike batting as opener where you have the freedom to play your natural game.
In the middle order you need to play according to situations and occupy the crease longer. So, it is a big challenge, which for the last 15 years I haven’t faced. But I have taken up the challenge. I will work hard to perform,” Jayasuriya said.
However, the role change has not come out of the blue as skipper Kumar Sangakkara and coach Trevor Bayliss had spoken to him at length before the Test series about his new job.        

“Before the Test series, the captain and coach explained about the new role. They said they would like to play me as an all-rounder and bat me in the middle order, which I accepted,” he said.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni, however, was in no mood to relax and was aware of the threat Jayasuriya poses.

“He is a threat to opposition anywhere. The key to check is not to give him easy singles and doubles. He is a good runner.

The players on the boundaries need to cut those doubles because he may not go after the bowlers that much compared to when he opens the innings. He goes on to build the innings and gets after the bowlers only at the end,” he said.
Dhoni’s Lankan counterpart Kumar Sangakkara was confident that his predecessor has the ability to live up to the task. “He has the mental strength to adjust to any challenge, and I am sure he can tide over this one as well. He has been a performer for 20 years,” he said.