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Sri Lanka battles low morale to face England in one-day series

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, March 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka hopes to compensate for their humiliating Test series loss to England with an overhauled line-up for the three-match one-day series at a new stadium here Friday.

"Our batsmen have accepted full responsibility for the Test defeats and they are prepared to make up for it in the one-day series," said Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya.

"Our morale is a bit low after the Kandy Test," Jayasuriya added. "But this is a different ball game and we are confident of bouncing back. Our strength is our batting and we lost the Test series because we didn't bat well.".

It was in similar circumstances that Sri Lanka won their five-match one-day series against New Zealand 4-1 after being beaten 2-0 in the Test series in South Africa early this year..

Sri Lanka have left out experienced batsman Aravinda de Silva from their one-day squad and included batsman Indika de Saram and wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana..

De Saram and Kaluwitharana played for a Board President's XI team in a one-day warm-up game in Colombo on Wednesday which England won by 51 runs..

England, led for the first time by Graham Thorpe, showed the kind of form their batsmen are in by running up a total of 279..

Graeme Hick, a failure in the Test series, smashed a brilliant 100 before retiring while Michael Vaughan made 97..

Then fast bowler Andy Caddick took five wickets for 31 runs, including a hat-trick, to give England an ideal preparation for the one-day series..

England have flown in five one-day specialists for the series, but only bowlers Allan Mullally and Mark Ealham performed well in the practice match..

The Dambulla Stadium is Sri Lanka's eighth international venue and was built in a record 175 days. It is situated in the dry zone area where the average annual rainfall is around 50 inches..

It is a world heritage site, famous for its rock caves and ancient temples..

The teams: .

Sri Lanka (from): Sanath Jayasuriya (captain), Romesh Kaluwitharana, Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Russel Arnold, Indika de Saram, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Kumar Dharmasena, Muttiah Muralitharan, Tilan Samaraweera, Akalanka Ganegama, Lanka de Silva..

England (from): Graham Thorpe (captain), Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Graeme Hick, Alec Stewart, Craig White, Darren Gough, Andy Caddick, Robert Croft, Ashley Giles, Allan Mullally, Mark Ealham, Nick Knight, Andrew Flintoff, Mark Alleyne..

Umpires: Asoka de Silva and Lalith Jayasundera. .

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