Saturday 22 December 2007 

Vaughan Admits England Have Work To Do After Loss

England captain Michael Vaughan said his team needed to put in more work after they were outplayed by Sri Lanka team who won the three-match test series 1-0 on Saturday.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said England needed to play more positively when they travelled.

Vaughan urged his players to learn from the experience and hoped that his young team would starting winning again during their tour to New Zealand in the new year.

Rain saved England from probable defeat in the final test. They finished on 251 for six, still trailing Sri Lanka by 167 runs after being bowled out for 81 in the first innings.

"The way we batted in the first innings is something that I haven't seen for a while," Vaughan told a news conference.

"It's nice that we learnt in the second innings and acquitted ourselves better, especially Cook who showed tremendous character but to be brutally honest the weather saved us from a 2-0 defeat, which is disappointing," he said.

"Sri Lanka is undoubtedly, after Australia, the hardest place to go and play cricket and we just didn't have enough skill and expertise to go on to force the game and win it.

"We had enough fire in us to get two draws but we didn't have enough to skill to go and win a game," he added.

"We didn't bowl as well as we could, bat as well as we could and field as well as we could. You throw all those into a park they are not great ingredients for success.

"Full credit for the way their team played their cricket -- they make it very, very difficult when you play here.

Vaughan said he hoped the experience would prove the last low of England cricket "and that we can now start a winning culture.

"But there's a lot of hard work to go before we can even start talking about being a force again."

DISAPPOINTING WEATHER

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was proud of his side and only disappointed about the weather.

"It's unfortunate that we can't control the weather but I am very happy with the overall performance," he added.

"The first test match was a close one as they really pushed us. We did well to win that. The second and third test matches we dominated and improved as a team.

"I take 1-0 but probably we should have been 2-0," said Jayawardene.

Sri Lanka rose to third place in the ICC test Rankings after the series and regained confidence after being beaten 2-0 by Australia in November.

"This was an important test series for us coming back from Australia. We needed to get things right."

Jayawardene urged England to be more aggressive and positive if they wanted to win more matches overseas.

"I think we wanted to win this series more than they did," said Jayawardene.

"We saw a lot of negativity in that camp and that's when we realised from that if we concentrate, focus well and play to our strengths then they we could not close to us.

"If you want to compete away from home you need to be a bit more positive and aggressive and believe in yourself -- that's something Tom Moody wanted us to do.

"We saw the results of that change of thinking with wins in England and New Zealand in 2006."

© Reuters 2007