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Jayawardene positive despite loss, turmoil

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said there were positive signs for the team after he resumed the role following the sudden departures of both their ex-skipper and coach.

Jayawardene, whose second stint as captain started with a four-wicket tri-series loss to India in Perth, admitted it was tough to take over after the turbulence of the last two weeks.

Tillakaratne Dilshan resigned as captain on January 23, paying the price for a disastrous tour of South Africa, before Australian coach Geoff Marsh was unceremoniously sacked two days later.

However Jayawardene, 34, said he was committed to ensuring a successful future for Sri Lankan cricket under new coach Graham Ford of South Africa.

"We've had quite a few meetings when we arrived in Australia trying cultivate a few things which we want in the team, such as the thinking processes and getting the guys to take more responsibility and be more free out there," he said.

"Even today we felt they've taken quite a bit in as well. We felt that their attitude, their hunger on the field, their bowling aggression, was great.

"It was a good game of cricket and I was happy with the effort.

"We made a few mistakes, but we executed a lot of our plans and just fell short because we were probably 30 or 40 runs short of our target, but overall I am quite happy."

Sri Lanka have won just two of their last nine one-day internationals after their total of 233-8 was comfortably overhauled by India with 20 balls to spare at the WACA Ground.

Sri Lanka face an even bigger task on Friday when they play Australia at the Perth ground, where the visitors have won only twice in 16 one-day internationals.

However, Jayawardene insisted his team were capable of an upset.

"We have to be smart to beat them," he said. "We know their strengths and know what our strengths are, it is all about how you apply it on the day."

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