We do not need favours to qualify for finals: Jayawardena

His team’s prospects of reaching the tri-series final have been dented after the massive loss to India but Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena on Thursday said he is glad that at least the islanders’ fortunes are still in their own hands unlike their sub-continental neighbours.

“Going in to the last game it’s in our control, what we need to do. It’s a good position for us to be, rather than depending on someone else to do some favours for us,” Jayawardena said.

If Australia beat Sri Lanka in Friday’s last league match, India will be through to the best-of-three finals. Sri Lanka were on course of a final berth before India left them demoralised by chasing 321 in less than 40 overs in their previous match.

“From where we started on this tour, I think we’ve improved as a team and maintained a consistency. That’s very important for us going forward,” Jayawardena said.

“Whatever happens tomorrow we will definitely get a lot of positives out of this. Our challenge will be to try and keep this consistency going, because if we play the way we’re playing now … we’ll win more matches than we lose. We’re quite happy with that,” he added.

Jayawardena said his team has good all-rounders which would be crucial.

“Going forward we’ve always wanted to have two or three all-rounders in a team. These guys are taking responsibility. Angelo (Mathews) in the long run will probably be more of a batting all-rounder than a bowling all-rounder.

“Plus (Farveez) Maharoof is a guy who can bat as well and he’s bowling pretty well, he just needs to have a bit more confidence in his batting. All these three guys will be good options for us going forward. We just need a couple of spinning all-rounders to come through and we’ll have a really good balanced team,” he said.

Maharoof, however, won’t be available for Friday’s game due to lower back pain.

Talking about the match against India on Tuesday, Jayawardena said his bowlers erred in just going with the flow instead of experimenting.

“The (fast-bowling) guys did go to their strength, which is yorkers and stuff like that, but I think they (Indian batsmen) handled that pretty well,” he said.

“We didn’t try too many things, that was probably due to the way the Indians were batting as well … we probably just went with the momentum rather than trying to change it in the middle.

“Those are areas in which we can improve as a team … bowlers taking a bit more time and maybe having a bit more of a plan about what they want to do. Even if it’s something out of the box, something totally different, there’s no harm in trying something like that – which we didn’t do,” he added.

“That’s something we’ve spoken about with the bowlers because you have to expect these kind of situations in the future, we have to be prepared. Every game is a learning curve for everyone.”


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