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Sri Lanka eye victory in third Test against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground

Thilan Samaraweera: says Sri Lanka have nothing to lose

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Thilan Samaraweera still believes Sri Lanka can win the third Test against Australia in Sydney despite two big defeats.

The tourists, who are 2-0 down in the three-match series, have not won in 12 Tests in Australia, with 10 of those ending in defeats.

The record stretches back to 1988 and looks like continuing for at least another four years considering the ease of Australia's innings-and-201-run victory in Melbourne last week.

But the experienced Samaraweera claims the injury-hit Sri Lankans want to defy the odds and end on a high when the action starts at the SCG on Thursday.

"It was really hard to digest that defeat (in two-and-a-half days at the MCG), but that's in the past now," Samaraweera told reporters.

"The good thing is this team have the belief they can make history by winning one Test in Australia.

"That is the kind of attitude we have going into the New Year's Test.

"We have nothing to lose. We're 2-0 down, but these 16 players and 10 in the management team want to go out by winning this Test."

The Sri Lankans will definitely be without star batsman Kumar Sangakkara (finger) and paceman Chanaka Welagedera (hamstring) for the clash, while two other players are doubts.

Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (thumb) and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara (rib) will need to pass fitness Tests on Wednesday, with Samaraweera labelling the pair "50-50" to play.