Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jayasuriya likely to play Kolkata One-dayer

Sanath Jayasuriya during a practice session prior to the 4th ODI match against India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday

After being dropped in the last two matches, veteran Sanath Jayasuriya may return to the Sri Lankan playing XI in the do-or-die fourth One-dayer against India at Eden Gardens on Thursday.

In the absence of in-from all-rounder Angleo Mathews, Sri Lanka struggled in Cuttack in the third One-dayer and the visitors might be forced to bring in the once explosive opening batsman.

The team management gave a lot of focus on the 40-year-old left-hander in the practice session on Wednesday and he spent a considerable amount of time batting at the nets.

Team coach Trevor Bayliss was, however, non-committal when asked whether a Sachin (Tendulkar) vs Sanath Jayasuriya battle is on the cards on Thursday.

"There is always a chance. But, we have not finalised the team yet. In the last two games, we wanted to play with two genuine spinners. Unfortunately, that meant Sanath missing the spot there," he said.

"The pitch seems to be a very good batting wicket, promising plenty of runs," Bayliss said.

Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and in-form Tillakaratne Dilshan did not attend the optional practice on Wednesday.

With Dilshan effectively doing the job Jayasuriya had been doing earlier -- giving Sri Lanka an explosive start, the latter could be used in the middle order once again after the first ODI at Rajkot.

But Jayasuriya, it seemed, is yet to relish the role of a middle-order batsman.

Jayasuriya has some good memories at the Eden with the left-hander scoring a breezy 63 not out before rain washed out the match against India that the stadium hosted last on February 8, 2007.

And not to mention his 1996 World Cup semifinal outing when he foxed the Indian batsmen with his left-arm spin taking three for 12 to reduce the home team to 120/8 before unruly crowd behaviour handed Sri Lanka the match and final berth.


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