Sangakkara says Lanka chary of ‘hungry’ Oz Test team

Sydney: Veteran Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara has said the current Australia team might not boast of big names like Mathew Hayden, Justin Langer or Ricky Ponting in the top order, but their inexperienced replacements would be hungry to prove themselves on the big stage. Local hero Ed Cowan (10 Tests), David Warner (12) and the recalled Phil Hughes (17) look far less intimidating on paper, but Sangakkara expects the serving trio to be just as famished as they look to establish themselves at international level.

The 35-year-old veteran of 113 Tests said Australian captain Michael Clarke and a rejuvenated Michael Hussey are the key planks and any vulnerability at the top will be determined by how well the visitors bowl. “It really depends on the way they are tested and it depends on what we throw at them,” quoted Sangakkara, as saying. “Looking at the Aussie sides of the past, maybe the big names aren``t there, but the guys who are playing are still as hungry and I think that kind of makes everyone play better cricket,” he added.

“It doesn``t really matter who is playing in the Aussie XI, it is really making sure we are prepared for them and challenge them at every stage to see whether they are vulnerable or not,” he said. “We know how dangerous Warner can be, Cowan has come a long way and is pretty solid, but it``s Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey who really solidify that middle order,” he added. “With Punter retiring there is a big hole and really big shoes for anyone coming in to fill. I think if we can get into that middle order quite quickly with the new ball it will be quite interesting, but getting there is the key,” he said.