‘We are not worried about history’

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Kumar Sangakkara is clear about the Sri Lankan team’s outlook towards security issues on tour. “The thing about security is that it can never be 100 per cent foolproof. We have been through bad experiences before — in Pakistan.

“The feedback from the Australians, now playing here, is that the Indian authorities are doing a great job,” said the Sri Lankan captain, adding: “I look at security this way. Either we play cricket and accept the risks, or not play at all.”

The captain of the visiting side and its coach Trevor Bayliss addressed the media here on Sunday. India will face Lanka with the one-day series defeat to Australia at the back of its mind. Sangakkara is wary of facing a squad bearing the wounds of defeat.

“I don’t know how the team will react. We will wait and see how India comes out of this loss at home.”

Sri Lanka has not recorded a series win here. “We are not worried about history. The focus is to relax, enjoy and put India under as much pressure as possible.”

Sri Lanka has come here with new faces in the fast bowling department, apart from match-winners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in the spin department.

Asked to comment on the fast bowlers’ inexperience under Indian conditions, Sangakkara gave a different view. “The thing about having fresh fast bowlers that is they have not faced Indian batsmen before and so will not be affected by reputations.”

Asked about Sachin Tendulkar’s impact on the game and his presence, the Lanka captain said: “The remarkable part about Sachin, apart from the runs scored, is his personality.

“To have survived the tough test of public expectations in India is something he should be commended for. He is wonderful for us to watch and play cricket against.”

Jayasuriya’s new role

Asked about Sanath Jayasuriya, who has a special liking for Indian bowling, the Lankan skipper’s reply revealed a new line of thinking about the left-hander’s utility to the squad. “We want to make sure Jayasuriya is a match-winner. He has a new role, an exciting role,” said Sangakkara.

“Jayasuriya is willing, he is ready to adjust and has always accepted the decisions taken by the team management,” he added. Angelo Matthews, a fast bowler who can open the batting, is supposed to be a key link in Sri Lanka’s plans. “Angelo’s ability in batting and bowling releases a bowling slot for us. We can play three spinners if we want to, or two fast bowlers and a spinner.”

Rangana Herath, a left-arm spinner, is supposed to be the special talent. “He is positive, always trying. Such a good spinner had to play second fiddle to Murali and Mendis. All this waiting has made Herath a hungry bowler.”

Sri Lanka will be playing a three-Test series, followed by T20 and one-dayers.

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