We are keen to keep momentum going against India – Mathews
Sri Lanka vice-captain Angelo Mathews says that his team has picked it up after a bad patch in the recent past and ready to keep the momentum going in the five-match ODI series against India. Sri Lanka failed to win an ODI series, where India was involved, since losing to their neighbors in the last World Cup finals.
"We had a really bad patch in the recent past. I mean for about six to eight months," Mathews told reporters on the eve of the third ODI against India, on Friday. "We didn't do well as a team, but I think we've picked up now and doing really well now. Our form is pretty good and our batsmen, bowlers and fielders are doing pretty well. It's just that we need to be consistent and try and do our best," he said.
Sri Lanka meet India in the day and night encounter at the R. Premadasa International Stadium on Saturday. The five match series was leveled (1-1) by gutsy Sri Lanka with a resounding nine-wicket win over India at Hambantota last Tuesday.
"Even though it was a convincing victory the other day (Tuesday), we were really good in all three departments. But we can't relax at any given time especially against the Indians, because they can come back hard on us." Mathews said.
Mathews had a few issues with injuries in the past, but recently he's been bowling well to get breakthroughs and claimed important wickets.
"My fitness is pretty good; I'm hoping to continue in the same form as long as possible." Mathews said.
Despite a long standing problem, batting under lights at R. Premadasa International Stadium, Colombo, is not a worry any more.
"It's pretty good and we've chased well and won against Pakistan (at RPIS). The wicket doesn't change too much when you bat second," he said.
Mathews and Thisara Perera, both playing as all-rounders, enjoy each other's company and help each other a lot. With his lusty hitting at crucial stages of the game and fine spells with the ball, masculine all-rounder Perera, has won many hearts of Sri Lankan cricket fans.
"Thisara has been wonderful in the recent past and he's been very consistent with bat and ball. We all hope he'll continue in the same manner," the vice-captain complimented his team mate lavishly.
However, the vice-captain was sympathetic of Isuru Udana who made his ODI debut at Hambantota and was hit for 16 runs in his first over.
"When you play your first game, on your debut, you're always feeling a bit of pressure. It's just that,” said Mathews.
"He's a very good bowler and we've seen him (bowling) in the T20's. He has done a wonderful job for Sri Lanka in T20's. It's just that we need to back him up and give him the confidence he needs," he said.
- By Daminda Wijesuriya