Jayawardene eager to renew India rivalry

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 14:31 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Wednesday his team was keen to renew the rivalry with India in a three-Test series starting here next week.

"Personally, I have a couple of milestones against India. I made my Test debut against them and also scored my first Test double-century against them. It's a pretty good team for me to play against," said Jayawardene.

"We thoroughly enjoy playing India at home or away. It's always been a tough challenge. There is good rivalry with our neighbours."

Jayawardene, who made his Test debut in 1997 against India, hit 242 against them during the Asian Test championship match in 1999.

The Sri Lankan captain, with 7,478 runs in 95 Tests, said the series would be closely contested as both the teams had quality players.

"Every time we have played them, there has been good cricket as both the teams have some quality players. I am sure the public will have a great series to watch," he said.

Sri Lanka last hosted India for a Test series in 2001, winning 2-1 after a close contest. The tourists were without key spinner Anil Kumble and batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who were injured.

Tendulkar is now just 172 short of breaking retired West Indies captain Brian Lara's world record of 11,953 Test runs.

"We are going to treat Sachin in the same manner as anybody else in the Indian camp. It will be a great milestone if he achieves it, but our focus will be on winning the series," said Jayawardene.


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