Cricket Sanath Jayasuriya calls on Sri Lanka to improve in seventh game against New Zealand

Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya concedes Sri Lanka must improve in all areas ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

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Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has challenged all-rounders Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera to show more against New Zealand on Thursday as they look towards the Cricket World Cup, starting in February.

New Zealand won Sunday's sixth match of their one-day international series against Sri Lanka on Sunday, claiming an unassailable 4-1 lead in the process.

The series has given the World Cup co-hosts plenty of confidence heading into cricket's premier event, which starts on February 14.

By contrast, Sri Lanka are reeling, with Jayasuriya conceding the 2011 World Cup finalists have "aspects to improve every day" before the showpiece.

Jayasuriya is particular concerned by the output of Mendis and Perera, with Sri Lanka's bowling and lower-order batting particular weaknesses against New Zealand.

"Jeevan Mendis and Thisara Perera need to contribute more," Jayasuriya told The Nation.

"They need to concentrate on their bowling a little bit more. When they don't bowl well the confidence in their batting goes.

"Leg spin is vital and if Jeevan can bowl six, seven overs it will be crucial for us."

Perera and Mendis have combined for just five wickets, while they are averaging 1.75 and 14.00 with the bat, respectively in the NZ series.

Thursday's ODI against New Zealand will be Sri Lanka's last competitive outing before the World Cup.

They will also face South Africa and Zimbabwe in practice matches in the week before their tournament opener against New Zealand in Christchurch.

Jayasuriya has been frustrated by Sri Lanka's inability to bat out their 50 overs in all but one game in the series claiming "that kind of thing you can't accept", while he admitted "the bowling department is an area of concern".

Sri Lanka are hopeful veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga will be fit for the World Cup.

New Zealand hope their form against Sri Lanka can be a sign of things to come at the World Cup.

Ross Taylor scored 96 on Sunday, his first half-century of the series, and the 30-year-old batsman was pleased to find form.

"It is about winning and contributing," he told blackcaps.co.nz.

"We are still winning games so you can probably carry me for a little bit but at the same time you have your own standards and you want to contribute to a team performance.

"I wasn't doing that. [Sunday] was a start but hopefully I am scoring runs when it comes to the World Cup."

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