SPORT

‘Jayasuriya to open in T20 matches’

Nagpur: Kumar Sangakkara welcomed Sanath Jayasuriya into the Sri Lankan teams for the shorter formats saying, “He may be 40 but is fielding better than a 22-year-old. He is bowling as good as ever. He remains a match-winner for us with the bat and has great mental strength.”

The Sri Lankan captain said Jayasuriya would open the innings in the Twenty20 games. “In Twenty20 cricket, there is no doubt about him coming at the top of the order. It is only in the one-dayers that he may have to fight for the opening slot with Upul Tharanga.”

For the ODIs, Jayasuriya has been essentially selected as an attacking middle-order batsman who can send down useful overs of left-arm spin.

Switching his attention to another Sri Lankan great, Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara said, “Mahela is our best Twenty20 batsman. I mean he is among the top five batsmen in the world in this format. He can change his game and change the course of matches as we saw in the ICC World Twenty20.”

Optimistic

The Sri Lankan captain felt his team could perform well in the upcoming series. “We have had fluctuations in form in Twenty20 cricket. We were finalists in the World Cup but did not do as well in the games at home. But we have the ingredients to be a very good side.”

Talking about Twenty20 cricket, Sangakkara said, “It’s a different and an unpredictable format. We will try to do certain things differently, try new game plans.”

On rumours about him leading Kings XI Punjab in IPL Season III, he said, “Nothing has been communicated to me yet.” — Special Correspondent

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