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Sri Lanka to come firing against Australia: Hussey

Pallekele: They comfortably won the opening one-day international but Australian batsman Michael Hussey is expecting a Sri Lanka fightback in game two on Sunday.

The hosts were stung by the seven-wicket defeat after claiming a 2-0 series sweep in the opening Twenty20 matches - all in Kandy.

But on the eve of the second match near the southern port city of Hambantota the veteran left-hander has warned his teammates not to expect such a comfortable time in the middle again.

"It was very important to get off to a good start, particularly after losing both Twenty20s," Hussey said.

"I think the Sri Lankan confidence was sky-high so it was important for us to start the series well, which we were able to do.

"I think though if there was any complacency, maybe they had it in their first one-dayer.

"We`ve got to make sure that we are right on our game again because I`m sure the Sri Lankans will be coming back at us very hard."

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Sri Lanka may be boosted by the return of paceman Lasith Malinga, who missed both T20s with a back injury and also sat out the first ODI.

But the sling-armed paceman has been training with the hosts in the build-up to the second match as he tries to prove his fitness for the match.

And Hussey knows Sri Lanka will be desperate to get their spearhead back into the line-up.

"He`s an outstanding bowler," Hussey said.

"I think the reasons why he`s so good is that he can take wickets up front with the new ball, his action does take a little bit of getting used to so that makes him dangerous as well, he`s got a very good slower ball, very good bouncer and he also bowls very well with the old ball."

"One-day cricket is pretty much made for him and he`d be a vital part of their team."

"Complementing him with their very good spinners gives them a very well rounded team and we`re expecting them to really bounce back hard so we`ve got to be ready for that and (get) right on top."

Hussey himself is itching to get involved in the series.

A typically athletic catch to dismiss Sri Lanka`s final batsman and deliver Brett Lee his 350th one-day international wicket was the only notable contribution by the West Australian in Wednesday`s match, although he was at the non-striker`s end on an unbeaten two as skipper Michael Clarke hit the winning runs.

"I`m champing at the bit really," the 36-year-old said.

"It was a bit tough to be at the Twenty20s, I would have loved to have been involved in that."

"(But) it was good to come over while those games were on just to get a bit of an idea of what their bowlers were doing and how the wickets were going to play. Things like that."

"We`ve had a bit of a break, so all the guys are excited about getting back into cricket, playing good cricket again."

Sunday`s match, the first of two at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, begins at 7pm.

The final two matches in the series will be played in Colombo.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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