Sanath Jayasuriya vows to regain Test spot

Published: Sunday, November 27, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka's former captain Sanath Jayasuriya has vowed to fight back and reclaim a place in the Test squad after being dropped for the upcoming series in India.

"I was feeling disappointed on the day the team left for India," the left-handed opener told AFP on Sunday. "The team that I have been part of for so many years was leaving but I was playing a club match here."

The 36-year-old was dropped for the three-Test series starting in Chennai on December 2 after struggling with both form and fitness in seven One-day matches against India in which the Sri Lankans were thrashed 6-1.

But the island nation's most capped Test player with 100 appearances said he had not given up hope.

"This setback has made me more determined and increased my hunger for runs," said Jayasuriya, who is his country's highest run scorer in both Tests and One-day internationals.

"I had some injuries and then form too deserted me but I am keen to work hard on my game and get back in the team.

"It's actually a bit difficult to cope with it when you are out of the side but it's a part of the game when you are a professional and I am cool about it," he added.

Jayasuriya, a hero of Sri Lanka's World Cup triumph in 1996, said he had been consulting former Test player Sidath Wettimuny in a bid to sort out some technical problems.

"My ultimate goal remains the 2007 World Cup but the first target is to get back into the team," said Jayasuriya, who plans to concentrate on domestic cricket for the time being.

"I am playing in domestic matches and am keen to get runs and get my confidence back. During the One-dayers in India I was getting good starts but after that I used to get out," he added.

Jayasuriya felt the team had hit a new low in recent One-dayers.

"That One-day series was one of the worst tours by a Sri Lankan team in recent years. Nothing went right for us from the start, but whatever India touched turned to gold," he remarked.

Jayasuriya is recovering from a shoulder injury that he aggravated on a boat ride before the One-day series in India.

"The shoulder is on the mend and the physiotherapist says I will be 100 percent fit in two weeks," he added.

Jayasuriya has scored 6,580 runs in Test matches and 10,207 in one-dayers. He has also done well as a left-arm spinner bagging 92 wickets in Tests and 267 in the shorter version of the game.

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