Sri Lanka expressed confidence in their ability to threaten the world's best side when they arrived in Australia on Wednesday for a two-Test series.
"The last few occasions we were here for the one dayers we've proved we can handle pace and bounce against quality opposition and it's a good testing ground for us," touring captain Mahela Jayawardene said.
"We've competed really well in the last 18 months away from home, we've beaten New Zealand in New Zealand, England in England, so this is another place for us to challenge ourselves," he said.
The Sri Lankans believe they have the bowling armory -- a four-pronged pace attack supported by spinner Muttiah Muralitharan -- to flourish in Australian conditions.
"The pace bowling attack is extremely strong, they showed that in the last one day series against England, four good pace bowlers and the conditions out here will suit them," coach Trevor Bayliss said.
Jayawardene said Australia's formidable home advantage would test every aspect of the touring team.
"They've still got a very good side. We have to challenge them in bowling, batting, fielding and mentally be very tough under different conditions. We have to be very strong to beat them in different situations in the matches," he said.
"It's not just one area but if you are to beat Australia in Australia you have to play your best game possible," Jayawardene said.
No team has beaten Australia in a Test series in Australia since the West Indies in 1993, though South Africa (1994), New Zealand (2001) and India (2004) have drawn series.
Bayliss and Jayawardene hoped Sri Lanka would receive a fair reception from Australian crowds. Muralitharan, particularly, has been taunted by Australian fans on past tours.
"There's always idiots in every crowd, I don't know whether you're going to stop that 100 percent," Bayliss said. "But the majority of people realize it's the wrong thing to do and don't get involved."
Sri Lanka meet Australia in Tests at Brisbane and Hobart.
Sri Lanka squad
Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu, Malinga Bandara, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Prasanna Jayawardene, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Jehan Mubarak, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga, Chaminda Vaas, Michael Vandort, Chanaka Welegedara.
Daniel Vettori faces a tough challenge as New Zealand's new captain on their tour of South Africa which was due to start with a four-day match against a South African Invitation XI in Bloemfontein yesterday.
Vettori was appointed captain of the Black Caps after former skipper Stephen Fleming stepped down as one-day captain following the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year.
Fleming said he wanted to continue to lead the Test side but the selectors opted for a complete change, putting Vettori, 28, in charge for all matches.
The tall left-arm spinner had his first taste of leadership when he skippered the Black Caps to the semi-finals of the recent World Twenty20 in South Africa but taking on the host country in two Tests and three one-day internationals is likely to be an altogether more challenging task.
New Zealand were beaten 2-0 in a three-Test series in South Africa two seasons ago after losing a one-day series 4-0.
One of the key players for Vettori in the Test matches will be his predecessor, Fleming, who has been picked as a specialist batsman. On the 2005/06 tour Fleming made 262 in the drawn second Test in Cape Town, a record score by any visiting batsman in a Test in South Africa.
But Vettori has high hopes for his pace attack, spearheaded by Shane Bond, Mark Gillespie and Chris Martin, on pitches in Johannesburg and Centurion which usually favor fast bowlers.
The New Zealanders have another four-day game, against South Africa A, before the first Test starts in Johannesburg on Nov. 8.
The final one-day match between Pakistan and South Africa will be shifted after the Proteas declined to play in troubled Karachi for security reasons, an official said on Wednesday.
South Africa declined to play the fifth match in the southern port city, where suicide bombings killed 139 people last week at former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto's homecoming parade, after seeking a safety assessment for players.
The match will be now played in Lahore at the Qaddafi Stadium on Monday, Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said.
"The match has been shifted to Lahore over security fears raised by South Africa," he said.
South African team security failed to be convinced by top-level officials in Karachi during a meeting on Wednesday morning about player safety in the southern port city, officials said.
"We are disappointed and feel that Karachi is safe to hold any international event, but we had no choice and to accept the decision of the South African management," Naghmi said.
South African manager Logan Naidoo said the team regretted that the decision had to be taken.
"We deeply regret this decision especially for the people of Karachi for having deprived them of this opportunity but unfortunately the members of the South Africa contingent were not comfortable in travelling to Karachi," Naidoo said in a statement.
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