Colombo: Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara said on Thursday emotions about playing his 100th Test match will not affect his focus on winning the third and final Test against Australia to level the series.
Trailing Australia 1-0 in the three-match series, Sri Lanka must win the third Test starting Friday to avoid a second straight home series defeat against Australia.
"Not a lot of emotion as such," Sangakkara said. "It`s just a privilege to have been part of Sri Lankan cricket for so long, it`s an important milestone personally. It`s a Test match, at the end of the day it doesn`t matter whether it`s your first or 100th. You are looking to win."
Sangakkara made his Test debut 11 years ago against South Africa and in 99 Test matches he has scored 8,572 runs including 25 centuries and 35 half-centuries. He has maintained a healthy 55-run average. Only five other Sri Lankan players have reached 100 Test matches.
Australia won the first Test of the series by 125 runs and the second was drawn despite the tourists dominating the match only to be denied victory by rain.
A win or a draw in the final Test will give Australia a second straight Test series win in Sri Lanka after they whitewashed the hosts 3-0 during their previous tour in 2004.
But their campaign has suffered a setback with in-form seam bowler Ryan Harris being ruled out because of an injury with Peter Siddle taking his place. Harris is the most successful bowler in the series, taking 11 wickets.
Former captain Ricky Ponting, who returned to Australia for the birth of his second child soon after the first Test, has returned to his familiar No.3 position. Shaun Marsh retained his place at the expense of Usman Khawaja after making 141 in his debut innings.
"Ricky is an obvious one that has to come back into the team. His record speaks for itself," Australia captain Michael Clarke said.
"It was a tough one: Usman who I think apart from getting a big score individually has done everything he possibly can, on the other side Shaun Marsh got one chance and got 140 on debut so it was obviously going to be really hard to leave him out."