Sri Lanka keen to target Australia's bowling attack

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BRISBANE, Australia, Oct 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is confident his team will be able to take the fight to Australia's bowling attack in next month's two-test series.

Sri Lanka open their tour with two three-day matches before the first test in Brisbane beginning on November. 8.

While no touring team has won a series in Australia since the great West Indies side of 1993, the Sri Lankan captain said an attack missing the recently retired Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne was a key area to target.

''I think with Glenn and Shane not being there, they probably lack a bit of experience in their bowling attack, that is an area we can look forward to,'' Jayawardene told reporters in Adelaide.

Jayawardene said Sri Lanka had the edge over Australia's bowling attack, with veteran Chaminda Vaas, paceman Lasith Malinga and the fast-improving Dilhara Fernando all established in the test arena.

The tourists also have off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan waiting in the wings, who needs nine more wickets to break Warne's world record 708 test dismissals.

Australia will rely on Brett Lee and the steady Stuart Clark, but their likely back-ups, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait, are unknown quantities at test level.

Newly appointed Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss said he believed the pitches would suit his bowlers as much as they did the Australians.

''I think the (Sri Lankan) pace bowling attack is extremely strong,'' the Australian said.

''They showed that in the last one-day series against England and I think the conditions out here will suit them.

''Brisbane (will suit the pacemen), and Hobart, as Tasmania showed last season played four pace bowlers at Bellerive (Oval) the whole season, so that could be conducive to good pace bowling as well.'' Sri Lanka's first warm-up match is against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at Adelaide Oval from Saturday.

The second test in Hobart starts on November. 16.

REUTERS BJR RK1523

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