24 March 201116:18

Jayawardena wary of England's big game danger

The Sri Lankan batsman believes that England are a team for the big occasion

Jayawardena wary of England's big game danger - Cricket News

Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawardene.

Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardena believes England are a team for the big occasion and should not be written off ahead of Saturday's quarter- finals.

The 1996 champions take on England, who have never won the World Cup, in the last of four quarter-finals at R. Premadasa stadium and Jayawardena on Thursday warned his team against complacency.

"They've had a very tough World Cup, I think all their games have been very close, but if you analyze it properly, they lost two games to minnows and beat some top teams so that means they do turn up for the big games," he said.

"So we cannot be complacent, they are a quality side, they've got some good players who can turn things around for them, so we need to execute our plans," said 32-year-old former captain.

While Sri Lanka lost just one game to Group A leaders Pakistan, England endured stuttering progress in Group B as they lost to Ireland and Bangladesh but beat South Africa and the West Indies and tied with India.

Jayawardena said there would be no extra pressure of playing a quarter-final at home.

"I don't think there's extra pressure," said Jayawardena, who needs 46 to complete 1,000 one-day runs against England.

"There's always pressure on you to win matches, that's with every team, I think we have the same kind of pressure."

Jayawardena said he respected England all-rounder Michael Yardy's decision to pull out of the tournament due to depression on Thursday.

"I'm not a medical expert but we do feel for Michael. I mean obviously those are individual things and you know you have to respect that, but for us we try to take our mind away from the game," he said.

"If you are not involved in the games, you do different things. We try to encourage lot of the guys to bring their families along on tour and those kind of things help and team-bonding activities."

Jayawardena said wily off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was progressing well for the match.

"We gave him a day off, he's been playing for 20 odd years, I think he deserves a day off and he will be fit," said Jayawardena of one-day cricket's highest wicket-taker, who suffered a hamstring injury against New Zealand.