We have to try and enjoy every game, says Sangakkara

February 19th, 2011 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Feb 19 (IANS) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said Saturday that the 2007 runners-up would be looking to start the World Cup on a winning note, but cannot afford to take Canada lightly in their opening game here Sunday.”Our job is to win the first game rather than try and win the tournament from the first game. We are going to try and enjoy every game, take it step by step and hopefully build ourselves up,” said Sangakkara after a practice session at the newly built Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

Sangakkara knows that expectations are huge as 20 million Sri Lankans are expecting the team to win their second World Cup title since 1996.

“The expectations are huge but it’s important we play game by game,” he said.

“You can’t take Canada lightly. If you take the warm-up game they played against England, they lost only by 16 runs. Every team raises their game when the World Cup comes, and we need to raise our game and if we do that we can do well,” he said.

Sangakkara also said that the team has received some useful tips from chief selector Aravinda de Silva, who played a key role in Sri Lanka’s maiden World Cup triumph in 1996. De Silva, now a chief selector, was present at the stadium and was seen discussing important points with the players.

“His advice is extremely valuable at all times, he is a very shrewd thinker of the game and a fantastic cricketer,” Sangakkara said.

Sangakkara, who will be playing his third World Cup, said it was privilege to captain the side.

“It’s a great privilege to captain this particular team. I think they are a wonderful bunch of guys and it’s a great honour to play for your country in front of your home crowd. So, hopefully we can do everyone proud,” he said.

Sangakkara also dropped a hint that left-arm spinner Rangana Herath or mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis will partner Muttiah Muralitharan. He also said that fast bowling all-rounder Angelo Mathews provides a balance to the side.

“We can go with two spinners as Angelo Mathews brings in a nice blend to the side. Among the fast and spin bowlers, we hope to pick four to play with Angelo,” he said.

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