Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews has said that his team's inconsistent showing over the last few years has a lot to do with the numerous injuries around the group and it has not helped their strive to find the right balance. But the island nation, Mathews reiterated, is confident of a good showing in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa and build the side towards the World Cup next year in England.
Ahead of the start of the all-important ODI series at home, Mathews was quoted saying, “Our limited-overs performances have not been very good, The team played badly and we have had so many captains over the last one year. We need to play better cricket. We have done well in Tests against South Africa and now we just need to carry that momentum forward.”
“South Africa are a much better limited-overs team, they are a different unit so it’s going to be a challenge, but if we play good cricket, we can definitely beat them.”
Talking about Sri Lanka's poor record in the recent past, Mathews further added, “I don’t think we were a settled unit. We have quite a few injury issues and there were a number of different captains too, We would like to put all that behind us and focus on what’s in front of us now. It’s a good opportunity for us.”
Speaking about the kind of pitch he expected ahead of the first ODI in Dambulla, Mathews said there is a possibility of playing three spinners but it’s tough to be certain until the covers come off.
“The wicket looks really good but we haven’t decided on our combinations yet because the conditions change very quickly over here. If you keep the wicket covered the grass pops out it can seam and swing a little bit. We will wait till the last moment to decide on the team, especially here,”
The importance of this series with the World Cup less than a year away is not lost on Sri Lanka's best batsman, he said, “Every series (before the World Cup) is very important. We trialled a few combinations which we think will suit to play in the World Cup but it’s a process it depends on the conditions also and you have to keep winning as well. We’ll keep everything in our minds but we will take it series by series."
(Inputs from Wisden India)