Atapattu wants to prove a point in Aus

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Former captain Marvan Atapattu wants to live up to the expectations during the tour Down Under.

Updated: October 25, 2007 06:47 IST
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After being dramatically picked into Sri Lankan side for the forthcoming tour of Australia, former captain Marvan Atapattu wants to live up to the expectations during the tour Down Under.

"I have been out of the game for sometime and I know I have to perform and prove myself because I was invited due to my ability," Atapattu said in a radio programme on Sunday.

The 36-year-old opener, who was not selected in the original touring squad, was brought in as the 17th member on Thursday following the intervention of the country's Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge.

Expressing happiness over Atapattu's return for the Australian tour, Lokuge said, "We are now waiting for victory".

Atapattu's return to the national team marks the end of a six-month controversy that commenced from the World Cup where he was not selected to play in any of Sri Lanka's 11 matches despite being part of the team.

The former captain was also overlooked for the one-day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in May.

He also withdrew from the three-Test home series against Bangladesh in June saying he was not mentally prepared to play Test cricket.

Atapattu, who has represented Sri Lanka in 88 Tests and scored 5,330 runs at an average of 38.90, with 16 centuries, had also accused the Sri Lankan selectors of affecting the team's morale.

"Team spirit decreased because the players became insecure," said the right-hander, who played his last Tests against India in Ahmedabad in December 2005.

Sri Lanka will leave for Australia on Tuesday with the first Test starting in Brisbane on November 8.

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