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Sri Lanka arrive in Pakistan – Heavy Security – The Mendis factor

Sri Lanka have arrived in Pakistan for the ODI leg of it’s tour. The 14 member squad arrived in Karachi on the 18th of January, Sanath Jayasuriya arrived earlier alone via Doha Qatar.

Sri Lanka play a series of three matches, on the first phase of their tour to Pakistan starting from January 20. The team arrived amidst tight security at the Karachi international airport.

The Sri Lankan team which arrived here late in the morning was given warm reception at the airport and was driven to the hotel under tight security. The security at the hotel was also tight for the team which will have the first feel of the local condition on Monday afternoon when they hold the nets, writes ANISUDDIN KHAN for The Nation.

It is now common that wherever Sri Lanka now go there is just one player every one wants to know about. Ajantha Mendis is all Mehala talks about these days. Even his own dismal batting performances keep getting swept under the matting thanks to the prevailing Mendis mania.

Responding to queries about mysterious Anajtha Mendis, he said the young man knew his role in the team and as he did not know English, he was not bothered to reads columns or give interviews that made him free from any pressure. He was relaxing in his room watching movies and was not under any pressure. – The Nation

Most cricket buffs believe, the outcome of the series will mostly depend on how Pakistan players tackle Murali and Mendis. But Jayawardene doesn’t agree with that.

“I’m not focusing on any particular players. It’s true that Ajantha and Murali are two very good bowlers but we have other bowlers in the side who are good as well. We win as a team and we lose as team.” The News

Mendis, who made his debut in the West Indies in May last year, became the fastest bowler to get 50 wickets, achieving the total in 19 matches, breaking Indian Ajit Agarkar’s record of 23 matches.

Jayawardene said he would not like to put extra pressure on the newcomer.

"He knows what his role is, at the same time there are some really good guys around him giving him advice, especially Murali who is a brilliant role model for Ajantha. – AFP

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