sport

Jayawardene has faith in side

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene admits it has been difficult for his side to put their MCG debacle behind them, but insists they have the batting talent and belief to bounce back to form in Sydney.

The tourists were humbled inside three days in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, leaving many predicting a similar outcome at the SCG with Australia's in-form four-pronged pace attack and an uncharacteristic green wicket.

But after struggling to cope with a bombardment of short balls from Australia's quicks last time out, Jayawardene backed his misfiring top order to handle the challenge much better this time.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who will relinquish the captaincy to Angelo Mathews after this Test, added that Sri Lanka had done a lot of soul-searching over the past week in the lead-up to this match.

Jayawardene said: "We've spent a few days to try and get over that match, what happened and how we can avoid something like that again.

"Teams do go through that sort of thing. It happened to us in South Africa last year at Centurion where we lost in two-and-a-half days and we bounced back in Durban to win the Test match.

"It's about guys owning responsibility about what happened and doing something about it. It is a strong Australian side but if we play to our potential and back ourselves then we can stand up to that."

However Sri Lanka's preparation hit another snag on Wednesday, with emerging fast bowler Shaminda Eranga injuring his leg during a friendly football match prior to training.

It is another unwelcome distraction for the tourists, already without star batsman Kumar Sangakkara (finger) and paceman Chanaka Welegedara (hamstring), while wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (thumb) and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara (ribs) are both in severe doubt.