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Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, has stood by the selectors' decision to leave out legspinner Malinga Bandara from Sri Lanka's 15-man squad for the CB Series in Australia while selecting six fast bowlers.

The omission of Bandara, who took 14 wickets from nine matches in Sri Lanka's campaign in the 2005-06 tri-series in Australia, has become a talking point in Sri Lanka, but Jayawardene said it was difficult to accommodate him as the second spinner since the team management had decided to go in for a solitary specialist spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan.

"When you've got Murali and if he is playing in the side, with the conditions we get in Australia, there won't be any room for a second spinner. It will not give us the adequate balance in our set-up. Our combination could be three quicks and a spinner plus seven batsman or we might go with six batsmen, four quicks, including an allrounder, and a spinner. Banda will only come into play if Murali gets injured. That's why he is a standby."

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