Perera is a ‘match-winner’, says Mahela Jayawardene

"If we can have Thisara batting well and bowling well, he's a match-winner"

“If we can have Thisara batting well and bowling well, he’s a match-winner”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene believes that all-rounder Thisara Perera will play a key role throughout the national team’s World Cup campaign.

Perera did not play in Sri Lanka’s World Cup opener against New Zealand due to his poor form with both the bat and ball.

“Thisara is a vital part of our team, and he still hasn’t come right in New Zealand,” Jayawardene said. “If we can have Thisara batting well and bowling well, he’s a match-winner. He has proven that with the amount of man-of-the-match awards he’s won. Right now he’s trying to find that form.”

Despite having lost their first match against New Zealand, Jayawardene stated that Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign is far from over.

“No one gives us any chance in any tournament,” he said. “Even back home, people don’t really rate us that high. We’ve come across that often, we’ve fought hard, and we’ve proven a lot of people wrong. We knew that playing these teams in these conditions was going to be tough. We will have our fair share of defeats – that’s a given. It’s not a tournament that you can completely dominate. But the idea is to win those crucial moments and crucial games and get to a position where we can strike.

“We know handling big tournaments is about not panicking. It’s nothing crazy. It’s about building on the things we’ve been doing for years. In the crunch games, you just have to hold everything together. You shouldn’t put added pressure on yourself, because that restricts the way you play. We know we have handled tough situations in big finals, so that belief is there.”

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