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Sri Lankans promise batting aggression
By David Beniuk
18:02 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012

Sri Lankan captain-in-waiting Angelo Mathews has signalled his side's impressive batting line-up will go on the attack when the first Test against Australia gets underway at Bellerive.

The Lankans boast a strong top six, anchored by 10,000-run club member Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera, who all have 50-plus Test averages.

Allrounder Mathews himself averages a stunning 91.33 against Australia after a brilliant home series in 2011 that included his only Test hundred.

Aggressive youngster Dimuth Karunaratne also looks likely to partner Tillakaratne Dilshan at the top of the order.

The 25-year-old vice captain says the visitors will need to take the game to Australia's less than settled attack.

"I think you need to be positive at all given times," he told reporters at Bellerive on Wednesday.

"You can't afford to be negative against the Australians.

"You need to look for runs, you need to get them out and try and be as positive as you can be."

Mathews made an unbeaten 105, 95 and 58 against the touring Australians in 2011.

The No.6 comes off another strong home series, two Tests against New Zealand that included scores of 79 and 84.

He said the challenge was to bring that sort of form down under.

"You can show your character in Australia because it has a lot of pace, bounce; it's totally different to Asian countries," he said.

Australian paceman Peter Siddle said Mathews was a player on the rise.

"This is probably the time for him," Siddle said.

"He made that hundred against us in the last Test ... he's a true No.6 now and he's got that bowling option so he's a true all-rounder and he will be hard work."

In a Sri Lankan side chock full of former skippers, Mathews has been endorsed as his country's next by current captain Jayawardene.

But he isn't pushing his own name forward.

"That's totally up to the selectors," he said.

"If they think that I'm ready, I'm ready."