Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has said that the team had played enough matches ahead of the world cup. “We have had enough match preparation. We have two more as world cup warm up games and I think we will not have any complaints about lack of matches,” he said.
On Arjuna Ranatunga’s suggestion that the middle order had to be strengthened, he said Ranatunga had spoken to him too about this. “I fully understand why he says it and what is making him [say it]. And it is a very valid point. But at the same time, we have chosen players who we expect will be able to deal with the pressure, deal with the situations and score the runs that need to be scored. Too many changes – it’s a bit confusing at times,” he said and pointed to the last game against the West Indies where the changes did not work. He said there could be “one crucial change” but that will only be “if and when we need to make a change.”
On the question of the longish breaks between matches in the upcoming world cup, he conceded that it cut both ways. “When you are on a roll, you have to keep that momentum…The long breaks do help players to relax a lot more, prepare a lot more as the tournament goes on and stay fresh for games, mentally and physically…I think it is a double-edged sword. But fast bowlers would love that rest in between.”
Asked about the non-inclusion of Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas, he said there were players in the side who were capable of contributing in their own way. “We have played quite a bit in the past without them…Any team would have loved to have these guys at their best. But the team we have is pretty capable of handling things,” he said.
His senior colleague Muthaih Muralidhran was more evasive: “Time will tell (if their non-inclusion was correct). I am not an astrologer…”
Keywords: 2011 cricket World Cup