Clarke says Australia must tame Sri Lanka spin
Pallekele (Sri Lanka): Australia captain Michael Clarke says his team must come to terms with Sri Lanka`s spinners if it is to turn around its Twenty20 defeats by the host nation and win the upcoming one-day series.
Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis became the first bowler to take six wickets in the shortest form of the game by taking 6-16 in the hosts` eight-run win in the second Twenty20 match on Monday, winning the series 2-0.
Clarke, who captains Australia`s Test and one-day teams, joined the squad for training at Pallekele today ahead of a five-match series of one-day games that starts on Wednesday.
"We will get a lot of spin to face. If we are to win the series we have to play spin well," Clarke told reporters. "If we play our best cricket there is no reason why we can`t win the series."
Senior batsmen Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey also return to bolster the one-day international squad.
Clarke said that his team will be wary of Mendis who he described as a "good bowler in all forms of the game."
The Australia skipper said he saw no threat in the pitch for Wednesday`s game and said batsmen who get a start should be well placed.
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who missed the Twenty20 series through injury, could return for the one-dayers, while opening batsmen Upul Tharanga is also likely to play after serving a suspension for using a banned substance during this year`s World Cup.
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said he and Tharanga will open the batting while Mahela Jayawardene, who was his opening partner in the Twenty20 matches will drop, down to No. 4.
Chamara Kapugedera and Chamara Silva also return to the squad to strengthen the middle-order.