Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews speaks exclusively to ThePapare.com about his fitness and ability to play in the Indian game and about Sri Lanka’s slow over rate that saw the stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga miss out on two of the ICC Champions Trophy games.
Mathews who missed their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 opening game against South Africa due to a calf injury has been declared fit to play the India match on 8th June.
Mathews passed the fitness test prior to the Sri Lankan training session on Monday afternoon at the Lord’s Cricket Grounds. Later on, he spent plenty of time in the nets, did some fielding drills with Nic Pothas and had some throw downs using the granite tile.
“I’m fully fit now but I won’t be able to bowl. It’s been a very frustrating six to eight months for me. I have tried to get back as soon as possible, but my body has responded well enough. That’s the way it is and you have to face the challenges and my aim is to concentrate on my job now. Even in the last game, it was tough to let go because there was fair bit of risk involved and then the team management decided to not to risk.“ Mathews said.
Mathews is expected to come in place of suspended Upul Tharanga who will miss the next two games after ICC imposed a ban for slow over-rate. Kusal Janith Perera who batted at number 6 against the Proteas will join Niroshan Dickwella at the top of the order.
That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try to support him in the field. The Captain has to do so many other things and stuff to work on. We have addressed in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so disappointing. This cannot happen again.” Mathews shared his views on why his deputy skipper will be sorely missed in the next two games.
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The 30-year old last played an ODI match in August, 2016 during the Australian series and his inclusion will definitely add stability and wealth of experience to the brittle Lankan middle order in a must-win encounter against the defending champions, India.