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Lanka motivated by winless record in Aust
Liam FitzGibbon
18:00 AEST Mon Dec 31 2012

Another chance to claim a historic first Test win in Australia ensures injury-ravaged Sri Lanka remain motivated for the dead-rubber New Year's Test at the SCG.

Sri Lanka are walking wounded and could be forgiven for losing interest ahead of the third and final Test after suffering an innings and 201-run thrashing at the MCG to go 2-0 down.

The loss took Sri Lanka's record in Australia to 10 losses and two draws from 12 Tests spanning back to 1988.

And veteran Thilan Samaraweera insists that record will ensure an understrength side throw everything at the Australians when the Test begins on Thursday.

"It was really hard to digest that defeat (in less than three days in the second Test at the MCG) ... but that's the past now," Samaraweera said on Monday.

"The good thing is this team has to be believe they can make history if they win one Test in Australia.

"That is the kind of attitude we are taking into the New Year's Test."

With star batsman Kumar Sangakkara (finger) and paceman Chanaka Welagedera (hamstring) ruled out and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (thumb) and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara (rib) in serious doubt, Sri Lanka have sent for reinforcements.

Up and coming batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was expected to join the squad in Sydney on Monday night and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was to arrive on Tuesday.

Dinesh Chandimal is likely to come into the side as wicketkeeper-batsman while Samaraweera said Jayawardene and Kulasekara were 50-50 propositions at best.

While Australia will be motivated to send retiring batsman Mike Hussey out a winner, Samaraweera said Sri Lanka would be similarly motivated to perform in Mahela Jayawardene's last Test as captain before Angelo Matthews takes over the role.

Matthews was scheduled to address the media on Monday but Samaraweera was sent in instead, with officials claiming several team members were putting in extra time on the training ground.


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