Hobart, Feb 25: Australian skipper Michael Clarke felt his bowling department was poor after his side lost by three wickets to Sri Lanka despite posting a target of 280 runs in the ongoing ODI tri series in Hobart on Friday.
"Another tight one but unfortunately we couldn't get over the line, but full credit to Sri Lanka. Our execution with the ball wasn't good. The top four could also do better. They need to set it up for the rest," Clarke said at the post-match press conference.
"Sri Lanka showed tonight that if you hang in, you can take it home," he added. Clarke said Sunday's clash against India will be a crucial test for the hosts. "Big game for us against India in Sydney, we need to perform well in that," he said.
Clarke returned to lead his side after suffering from a hamstring injury. However, he said his back is hurting a bit now.
"I am still a bit stiff in the back, but I will be fine. I will get treatment from the physio and will be fine," he said.
Clarke was impressed by Peter Forrest, who replaced axed Ricky Ponting in the number 3 spot and scored a brilliant century.
"Peter was excellent today, all credit to him," he said.
Sri Lanka are the unlikely table-toppers right now with 14 points from six matches.
Meanwhile, Man-of-the-match Mahela Jayawardene lauded his young team for the team effort. Jayawardene got a quick 85-run knock which set the tone for the chase.
"The youngsters are learning a lot from these games. We are top of the table, but we still need to do a lot of hard work," he added.
Jayawardene felt he was lucky to get more strike in the beginning than Tillakaratne Dilshan.
"I probably got more of the strike than Dilly (Tillakaratne Dilshan). I was in a zone and it was one of those days when most of your shots went to the gaps," he said.
"We needed a good start and we went through the history of this ground. One side of the ground is smaller, so it was a tough ground to defend on. We have to continue playing well, our goal is to get to the final," he added.