Sri Lanka happy to be underdogs

SRI LANKA are happy not to be among the favourites to win the Champions Trophy, their captain Kumar Sangakkara said yesterday.

SRI LANKA are happy not to be among the favourites to win the Champions Trophy, their captain Kumar Sangakkara said yesterday.

Sri Lanka face South Africa, New Zealand and England in Group B, with only the hosts ranked above them in the International Cricket Council standings.

But South Africa, India and Australia have emerged as favourites to win the second most important 50-over tournament on the cricket calendar.

"It works in our favour not to be mentioned as favourites because we will be able to operate under the radar and there will not be too much attention given to us," Sangakkara said.

"Playing on such a great stage will automatically mean teams will be out to show and highlight what they can do, and it will be all about the handling of pressure."

Sri Lanka play the opening match against South Africa in Centurion on Tuesday and are in good form, while the hosts have not been in action since the World Twenty20 in June.

But Sangakkara said form would not matter when the teams take to the field for the day-night match.

"Everyone in our team is confident, but our recent wins are not going to count for anything," he said.

"Everyone here is a professional unit and whether they have played recently or not won't matter because you are always in training and up to the challenge of playing.

"The only advantage of that is that we have been competing under pressure." - Reuters

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