Have told Thirimanne to hold himself: Jayawardene

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 23, 2012 08:59 hrs

Hobart: Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene has told his batsman Lahiru Thirimanne to avoid stepping out too much while backing up for runs in Friday's match against Australia after escaping a controversial run-out chance due to India's generosity.

Thirimanne was 'Mankaded' by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after stepping out too far while backing up at the non-striker's end in the previous match against India.

India withdrew the appeal as stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag felt it was against the spirit of the game. Jayawardene on Thursday conceded that his batsman was also at fault.

"I have (spoken to him). I think there was a bit of fault in him as well. He's a young lad and I'm sure he'll learn from that. We've spoken, definitely," Jayawardene said ahead of the match.

"I think he can take a start but it's just where he's leaving the crease is probably a bit unfair. He can probably hold himself a bit longer and then take a start, I don't think that's a problem. It's just him understanding exactly what he can do and what he can't do," he added.

Australian captain Michael Clarke said he hopes Thirimanne backs up fairly so that such a situation is not repeated.

"I hope he decides to stay in his crease. I'm glad that nothing has come of it. It's a part of the game I don't like. I don't like the Mankad rule at all. I don't think you should be able to Mankad," Clarke said.

"But in saying that, if somebody is going to be a long way outside their crease, you would hope that by warning them they would understand that the bowler or the fielding captain has asked the batsman to stay in his crease. If he continues to do that, it is in the rules that you can be out like that. But I hope we don't have to worry about it," he added.

On whether he would appeal for such a dismissal, Clarke said, "I'll find out when I'm in that position. Hopefully I'm not."

Jayawardene said challenge heading into the coming matches of the tri-series is to remain consistent performers.

"After the last couple of games we came back strongly into the tournament so the challenge is to try and be consistent, play the way we've been playing, and make sure we handle certain situations better than the opposition," he said.

"We've been quite happy with the progress of the team."

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