Sri Lanka’s Jayawardene expects no respite from Aussies

MELBOURNE, Feb 21, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said Thursday he didn’t think Australia would be affected by recent off-field distractions when the two sides meet in their tri-series match on Friday. Sri Lanka must beat Australia to revive their tri-series finals hopes and the home side has had plenty to consider this week, with controversy over the scheduled tour of Pakistan and the inaugural Indian Premier League player draft.

Australia have also chosen to rest star paceman Brett Lee for Friday’s match, but Jayawardene said that didn’t mean an easier outing for Sri Lanka.

“I’ve played Australia quite a few times and they don’t take any game lightly,’ Jaywardene said.

“That’s why they’ve been so consistent over the last so many years, they don’t relax at all.

“Any side which they put out there tomorrow, you have to play really well to beat them.”

Jaywardene has repeatedly claimed in recent weeks that the home side was struggling for form, but Australia still head the tri-series table on 17 points, with India on 12 and Sri Lanka last on six.

Sri Lanka have lost both their matches against Australia and Jayawardene admitted his side needed to find a way to match the inten