6 Dec 2012

Sri Lankans bracing for backlash from Australian cricketers

8:21 am on 6 December 2012

The Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene says his team's bracing for a backlash from Australia in their upcoming three-test series.

Jayawardene says the Australian team will be hurting after their 309-run defeat by South Africa in the third test in Perth and believes that will certainly motivate them ahead of their series which starts on Friday week in Hobart.

Jayawardene says Australia remain a formidable outfit even after the retirement of champion batsman Ricky Ponting.

Sri Lanka also have plenty of motivation coming off a 167-run test loss to New Zealand, in a home series where their champion batsman Kumar Sangakkara failed to excel.

The Black Caps' rare test victory allowed them to draw the two-game series and led to speculation Jayawardene would step down from the Sri Lankan captaincy.

The 35-year-old says he'll assess his position as captain following the Australian series, hinting that it would be wise to start grooming vice-captain Angelo Mathews into the role.