HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (Sporting Alert) — Sri Lanka will be looking for a strong start when they take on Zimbabwe in the opening ICC World Twenty20 2012 tournament on Tuesday.

Live 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Coverage on ESPN3.com

Their powerhouse battling setup makes Sri Lanka one of the hot favourites to go all the way and will the entire tournament, and failing to make a winning start at Hambantota, would certainly be a failure.

Sri Lanka have thrilled the fans in the past, but the fact that they’ve struggled in three major finals in the last five years, makes life a little tricky for them.

However, captain Mahela Jayawardene isn’t looking back on the past, and backed his team to come good here.

“A lot of people have asked us whether we’ve choked in the finals,” Jayawardene said. “But I’d rather be in that position that getting knocked out in the first round or second round.

“We’re doing some thing pretty good in these big tournaments. We’re handling pressure well and getting into those situations where we can win the tournaments.”

He added: “There is always a first time for everything, and maybe it’s our time to turn it around.

“We’re one of the favourites. We’re part of a pack and if we can get good momentum, we could go all the way.

“We can’t play the hype down because we are playing at home. Sri Lanka is a cricket crazy country and the expectations will be high. We have to accept that.”


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