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17 October 201011:11

Sangakkara calls for improvement in fielding

Sangakkara is keen to make the most of the three-match One-Day International series

Sangakkara calls for improvement in fielding - Cricket News

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara feels his side needs to improve on its fielding in the build-up to ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Sangakkara was speaking to reporters on the eve of the team's departure to Australia for a three-match One-Day International series.

Sangakkara felt Sri Lanka's fielding standards had dropped in the last two years.

"Fielding is absolutely vital. We have stressed on that quite a lot during our training sessions. Fielding can make a huge difference and one direct hit or converting a half chance could win a game. We need to keep raising our standards every day," said Sangakkara in The Island.

Sri Lanka has employed Australia's fielding expert Gavin Fingleson in the last two weeks in an attempt to improve fielding skills.

"We have been training hard in the last few weeks. It's hard to recreate the wickets you would get in Australia, but we've been working on the bowling machines to match the bounce. As I said, we have been putting a lot of emphasis on fielding as well. The preparations have been intense, but the real challenge is to put that into practice when the match day comes," added Sangakkara added.

Sangakkara, who was nursing a left hamstring strain, has recovered, but Angelo Mathews, another player who was on the injury list hasn't recovered fully.

Mathews will be playing in Australia purely as a batsman.

"My recovery has gone well. I need to continue my rehabilitation. Angelo [Mathews] meanwhile is fit to go on the tour, but he won't be bowling in the tour and will play only as a batsman," the skipper said.

Sangakkara is keen to make up for previous tours to Australia and wants to make the most of the three-match One-Day International series.

"I have scored lot of runs in ODIs as well in Australia and maybe the fact that I am a back-foot player helps me. It does help when the ball comes onto the bat. Playing in Australia is interesting. They play hard and when you play Australia it lifts your game."

Sangakkara is expecting a tough challenge from the hosts, despite its disappointing Test campaign in India.

"Australia is lacking some top class players; no doubt about that. We could see Brett Lee back in the side this series. But overall, they have done well without these players. When they have their backs against the wall, they are dangerous and they come hard at you. The challenge for us will be tough, but I think we have prepared enough to take on that challenge."

Sangakkara also indicated that he has a fair idea about his ICC Cricket World Cup squad.

"When we come back from Australia, we will have a definite idea about our squad. Already we have a 95 percent clear idea as to who we want for the ICC Cricket World Cup."