Sangakkara keen to stop India's winning streak

Published: Friday, August 27, 2010, 16:26 [IST]
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'India will be a tough side to beat'

Dambulla: Kumar Sangakkara feels India have bounced back strongly after a record loss against Sri Lanka and it would take a very special effort from his side to avoid a fifth consecutive final loss to India.

"They (India) have lifted themselves for the finals and they have outplayed us on many occasions. There have been questions asked about the toss. Whether that was an advantage.I don't think," the Lankan skipper said in a pre-match press conference.

"You must give credit when a side wins consistently. That means they are used to that. We have been to a lot of finals as well. We have just got to make sure that we lift ourselves tomorrow for a special effort," he added.

India had lost by a massive 200 runs to New Zealand in the opening game of the tri-series and were handed an eight wicket thrashing by Sri Lanka after being dismissed for a mere 103. But history still favours the Indians, who most recently defeated Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in June.

Sangakkara said his team watched India's last league encounter against New Zealand closely in which they bounced back to qualify for the finals.

"I think they performed very well. They took advantage of the conditions and managed to put pressure on the New Zealanders. We watched that with interest and it is something to think about when we go into the game. How they bowled, the lines and the way they (Indian bowlers) attacked," he said.

Asked whether the Lankans had any specific plans for Sehwag, who stood out with a match-winning hundred against New Zealand, Sangakkara said as usual it would be to get the right-hander's wicket early on.

"I think a lot of people have tried lot of plans. He is an excellent player. So if you get him early I think it is an advantage. It is just sticking to basics and good line and lengths to him," he said.

Asked whether the six-day break before the finals would adversely affect the team, he said "It is a question that we will have to answer tomorrow on the field. I think when you are going well it is nice to keep going in important games.

But before the tournament started we knew the schedule. So there are no complaints from our side.

"I think when you start complaining, it is a very negative thing. You just get on with your job. Be a professional. If you cannot get over a six-day break then I don't think you have got anyone to blame other than yourself," he said.

Sangakkara refused to underestimate the currently struggling Indian middle-order.

"Even when you are struggling, you can score enough runs for your side to win. It does not matter whether one batsman or two batsmen fail, that is why we play seven batsmen. Everyone has got to pull their weight.

"If they can do it as a team, no one particular player needs to shine. Because if you score a hundred and still lose, you lose. I think everyone in our team is aware of that and we will fight every inch of the way tomorrow to see whether we can get there," he said.


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