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Aug 24, 2010

The key is to win matches consistently - Sanga

After reaching the finals of the tri-series with one of Sri Lanka's biggest wins over India, Kumar Sangakkara has said the team must aim at winning consistently, irrespective of the margin of victory. In front of a raucous Sunday crowd, Sri Lanka rolled MS Dhoni's side over for 103, inflicting the largest defeat in India's history in terms of balls remaining.   

"It's a good preparation for the final, but that is a new game six days away," Sangakkara said. "The key is to win matches consistently, wins like this (or) close matches, it doesn't matter if we win matches consistently."

The likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas aren't a part of the current squad, but all of them played their part in Sri Lanka's 245-run walloping of India in the finals of the Coca Cola Champions Trophy in 2000, a victory which Sangakkara termed as their best against India. "The best win against India I guess was in Sharjah, very early in my career, we got 299 and India were 54 all out I think," he said. "That was a great win and that was a great side, with this particular side, with some of our greats who have retired, it's great for our confidence that we can still do things like this."
One of the minor surprises during Sri Lanka's chase on Sunday was the promotion of Mahela Jayawardene to the top of the order, pushing the specialist opener, Upul Tharanga, down to No. 3. Jayawardene didn't open the innings for a decade after his debut in one-dayers, but has two hundreds in the five times he has opened, and has also recently taken to opening for Sri Lanka in Twenty20s.
"We've got to understand that players evolve, MJ is the best batsman we have without a doubt, to me he's been ideal for us in the middle order," Sangakkara said. "But Mahela over the last year and a half has shown a liking to open, if his mindset is more free to go up top of the order, then guys like me, other players must back that decision, we've got to move down the order and take responsibility."
Sangakkara said the move was a one-off, and the Jayawardene wasn't yet penciled in for the opener's slot for the final. Sri Lanka have five days to plan their strategy for the final, and the team decided to take Monday off, heading to the beaches of Trincomalee, two-and-half hours away from Dambulla.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo
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Source :© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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