Melbourne: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has no illusions about the hostile reception awaiting his team at Melbourne Cricket Ground but insists it will only spur the tourists in the second test against Australia starting. Sri Lanka do not have particularly fond memories of the MCG, where their spin great Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled seven times when the islanders last played a test here in 1995.
The visitors have riled the Victorian fans this time by unofficially accusing local favourite Peter Siddle of ball-tampering in the first test in Hobart. "We have been through a lot of hostile things in the past. 1995 was one and even after that," Jayawardene told a Christmas Day news conference.
"I don't think that fazes our team. It might give us something extra," added the visiting captain, who was expecting a decent Sri Lankan turnout in the match. "You have to remember there will be a good partisan Sri Lankan crowd as well so that will be good. It might go against him (Siddle).
"We can't control what happens out there. All we can control is what happens in the middle."
Sri Lanka have not won a single test on Australian soil and Jayawardene wants to break that spell before relinquishing captaincy after the ongoing series.
"If we do that, it won't be for me personally but for the entire team and for the entire country it would be something good, and it would be for the next generation to look at."
Sri Lanka will make a late call on playing pacer Nuwan Kulasekara, who was hit in the rib while batting in the Hobart test which the visitors lost by 137 runs. "We want to give him another chance to bowl today and see whether he's 100 per cent and we'll make a call on that probably tomorrow morning," said Jayawardene.