Sri Lanka coach Ford expects strong fightback to save series

By Staff Writers | July 31, 2012

Mahela Jayawardene and coach Graham Ford in a discussion.
Sri Lanka's fight to save the series has been hindered by injuries. © AFP

Colombo – The possibility of an ODI series defeat looms large over hosts Sri Lanka, as they take on India today in the fourth ODI of the five-match series. Mahela Jayawardene's men trail 2-1 and head into a must-win contest with key players injured.

As a result of injury, both Kumar Sangakkara and Nuwan Kulasekara will take no further part in the series. Sangakkara suffered a stress fracture in his right hand while batting in the third ODI and Kulasekara injured his groin in the first match of the series.

"Yes. Losing Sanga is a great blow," Sri Lankan coach Graham Ford told reporters.

"Without Kulasekara, the bowling resources have also been hit. But, on the other hand, it gives us the option to test out the players on the bench. For incoming players, it is a good opportunity to showcase their talent.

"No doubt, we are lagging in the series and injuries have taken a toll. But, as we know, the Sri Lankans are great fighters and capable of coming back strongly."

Sangakkara was hit by a delivery from Ashok Dinda, which he described as not a "vicious bouncer", but Sri Lanka's star batsman was disappointed.

"It's disappointing to be injured in the midst of a series and also miss out on the first Sri Lankan Premier League," Sangakkara said.

"I'm positive that I would be fit for the T20 World Cup at home in a couple of months."

"The ball hit me in the most vulnerable part of my hand," Sangakkara added.

"But this gives a youngster an opportunity to step in and show his talent."

The fourth ODI, a day and night match, gets underway at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today at 2:30 p.m. local time.

© Island Cricket

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