Mahela Jayawardene offers motivation ahead of 1st Test



THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Friday 14 December 2012

Last update 13 December 2012 11:21 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

HOBART, Australia: If Sri Lanka needed any extra motivation heading into its three-Test series against Australia, captain Mahela Jayawardene provided yesterday on the eve of the first Test by announcing this tour will be his last as skipper.
The Sri Lankans, fresh from splitting a two-test home series against New Zealand last month, are chasing their first test win in Australia.
The opening test starting Friday at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval will be followed by tests at Melbourne and Sydney. Sri Lanka and Australia will then play five one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches.
Jayawardene, 35, who was re-appointed as skipper for a 12-month period in January, announced yesterday he will stand down after the Australia tour.
He will lead an inexperienced bowling attack and an aging batting lineup against an Australian side that feels it is close to piecing together a strong team, having pushed No.1-ranked South Africa in a just-completed three-test series.
Left-arm spin bowler Rangana Herath has emerged as Sri Lanka’s most potent weapon in the past year, but — Sydney aside — it is unlikely the Australian pitches will offer the same opportunities as those in the subcontinent.
“We probably don’t have the pace which you think which is required to win test matches in Australia but we’ve got guys who will bowl good lines and lengths and create opportunities,” Jayawardene said yesterday.
Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera, meanwhile, will look for a chance to cement their places among Sri Lanka’s batting greats.
“A lot of the guys will be very hungry to do well,” Jayawardene said. “Especially when you’re playing against a top side like Australia, you want to lift your game.
“It’s about pride. We aren’t just there to make up the numbers, we’re going to play a good game,” he added. “Individually the guys will have to come up with a game plan on how they’re going to adjust. The bowlers will have to work out how to attack a really good batting line-up as well.” Australia came close to winning the first two Tests against South Africa, before suffering a crushing 309-run loss in the third at Perth — ex-captain Ricky Ponting’s farewell match.
Ponting’s retirement prompted a recall of former opener Phil Hughes after a 12-month absence to fill the No. 3 spot in the batting lineup, while Shane Watson drops down the order to No. 4.
As for openers David Warner and Ed Cowan, Australia captain Michael Clarke says it is time for them to assert themselves.
“There is plenty of talent there. It is about owning your position, making the most of it,” Clarke said. “They have the chance to build a long, successful career whether it be opening the batting (or) batting three.” While Warner and Cowan both averaged over 40 in the South Africa series, Australia’s first-innings starts of 3-40, 3-55 and 3-34 put the home team’s middle order under enormous pressure.
Clarke says the key to big-hitting Warner’s success lay in trusting in his natural, expansive style of play.
“He plays his best when he’s looking to score runs,” he said. “Sometimes he doesn’t look great when he gets out, but the other side is he’s got that x-factor.
“He can take a game away from any team in the first session of a test match really. Not too many players in the world have that talent.” Despite a six-wicket haul against South Africa at Perth, Mitchell Johnson was dropped from the Australian XI in favor of fellow fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus.
Siddle and Hilfenhaus return after being rested from the third test against South Africa in Perth, while Mitchell Starc was named as the third-prong in the Australian pace attack. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon completes the bowling lineup.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Kingdom and Namibia have signed a protocol to establish diplomatic relations between them.According to SPA, the protocol was signed on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Abdullah Al-Mouallimi and his...
JEDDAH: Official reports reveal nationalization levels of medical and health workers in the Kingdom remain low, with Saudi nationals making up only 21.7 percent of physicians, 31.8 percent of nurses, and 67.4 percent of ancillary staff.According to t...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) will begin receiving clearance applications for medicines and medical supplies, including drugs containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, for Haj missions or other government bodies on Saturday....
JEDDAH: Saudi importers of cattle said the Haj season this year will not see an increase in the price of livestock due to the stability of the local market and the available supply.There are also guarantees from exporting countries that required quan...
JEDDAH: At the upcoming elections the national identity card will be the only approved document used for identifying voters of both genders and allowing voters to exercise their electoral right, provided all statutory requirements are met.In a press...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil has spoken of a new education policy which emphasizes the importance of harmonizing admission policies in universities with the needs of the labor market.Al-Dakhil made these remarks during a meeting with un...
JEDDAH: Local bottled water consumption during the summer, Umrah and Haj seasons this year will increase by 10 percent.“This translates into an annual growth rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent,” Rashed Bin-Zouma, a water industry expert, was qu...
RIYADH: Four Saudi secondary students including a young woman from the Eastern Province have received prestigious medals at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which concluded in Azerbaijan last week.The winners of the four bronze medal...
JEDDAH: The UAE’s decision to lift fuel subsidies beginning in August has raised the possibility of other Gulf states following suit.Economists suggest a wide disparity of prices of gasoline in the Gulf countries will lead to more petrol smuggling op...
DAMMAM: The tourism industry in the Kingdom is witnessing great interest by authorities to develop the archaeological areas, promote their support services and create the best environment for tourism products, said businessman Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair....
JEDDAH: The ongoing World Circus at north Obhur has brought smiles on the faces of orphans, with its show of acrobats featuring 20 performers and clowns.The orphans of Al-Rawdah district charitable organization said they found the circus entertaining...
RIYADH: The Nepalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udayaraj Pandey, thanked the Kingdom on Thursday as he ends his four-year tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.Earlier in the day, he called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to pay him a courtesy call a...
RIYADH: Movies produced by young and amateur Saudi filmmakers will be shown on Saudi Television starting in the middle of next week.“The films will be shown daily to encourage young Saudi filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Eid, senior broadcaster a...
RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) and Taqnia Energy to launch the first standalone 50MW solar power station at Al-Aflaj.KACST also...
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...

Stay Connected

Facebook