Attapattu wary of England seamers

Published: Saturday 28th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu believes England have one of the best “seaming attacks” in the world ahead of their World Cup clash in Wellington on Sunday.

Atapattu is determined not to let his side underestimate misfiring England in a contest in which the winner will almost certainly be assured of a quarter-final place.

England were thumped in their only two matches against full-member nations at the tournament so far, while Sri Lanka cast them aside 5-2 in their one-day international series before Christmas.

But in Antipodean conditions, Atapattu expects a far tougher test and highlighted England’s run to the Tri-Series final earlier this month as evidence they are a team to be wary of.

“They are a balanced side,” he said.

“I don’t think they can be very happy about how things have unrolled for them in the recent past.

“Having said that they qualified for the (Tri-Series) final against Australia in Australia. That’s always a positive.

“They have terrific batsmen in their first seven, and they have the best seaming attack on their day.

“They could beat anyone. We have to guard against being complacent. We have to play the best cricket we can on the day.”

England skipper Eoin Morgan suggested on Friday that his bowlers would relish any movement in the air at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

Tim Southee’s swing was the decisive factor when England were thumped by New Zealand at the same venue a week ago, but Atapattu denied England would be at an advantage if there was movement on Sunday.

“Any batsman wouldn’t like the ball swinging too much, our batsmen, their batsmen,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it’s the skill Southee had.

“Not too many bowlers in that line-up apart from Southee swung the ball on that day. If it swings, I think any batsman would struggle. It won’t be in his comfort zones.”

Sri Lanka have not made a completely convincing start to the tournament, despite having strung back-to-back wins against Afghanistan and Bangladesh together.

They were well beaten in their opener against New Zealand before falling across the line against Afghanistan. Centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, however, ensured Bangladesh were easily brushed aside.

“Certainly the last two games have been good for us although it was a very close game against Afghanistan,” Atapattu added.

“We would like to take it game by game at this stage. At World Cups every game is important and peaking at the right time is the most important thing.

“We believe in that as a group and hopefully we’ll have a good result tomorrow.”

Published: Saturday 28th February 2015 by The News Editor

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