Champions Trophy 2013 May 27, 2013

Mathews embarks with plenty to prove

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Both on and off the field, Angelo Mathews gives few emotions away. There was a time when he was among the team's most exuberant men, but experience, and the onset of responsibility, have seemingly dulled his zest for public elation. He is now equally stoic with a dozen microphones set before him.

As Sri Lanka departed for the Champions Trophy in England, Mathews had little to say, aside from trotting out worn-out assurances that the side would seek to capitalise on its strengths, and had set its sights on the semi-finals as their first target. Four months into his tenure, Mathews is already proficient in the art mastered by all jaded captains - that of talking without saying much at all. Only, Sri Lanka's problems in the approach to the tournament did not need vocalising. The IPL has laid them bare.

Nine of Sri Lanka's probable first XI travelled to India for the tournament, and only Thisara Perera and Sachithra Senanayake have returned with any semblance of form behind them. Of the three Sri Lankan captains, Kumar Sangakkara dropped himself from the side, mid-season, citing a poor run, while Mathews himself surrendered the captaincy when his own place in an ailing team became threatened. Mahela Jayawardene remained at the helm of Delhi Daredevils throughout the tournament, but the team finished dead last, with him having done barely anything with the bat to prevent it.

Among the others, Tillakaratne Dilshan failed to fire in five outings, while Jeevan Mendis and Kusal Perera largely warmed the dugout benches during the last two months. Lasith Malinga meanwhile, who had been among the IPL's safest bets in previous seasons, was as bipolar for his franchise as he has been for Sri Lanka in the last 18 months.

Over the past week, the team has arrived piecemeal from across the Palk Strait and headed immediately into Champions Trophy training sessions, to join the six non-IPL cricketers who have been at it for almost a month.

"I'm not really worried about our form," Mathews said. "The IPL is completely different to what we will play now. We are professionals, and we know how to prepare for a tournament like this. The boys are pretty confident of themselves. The guys who were in India and Sri Lanka have all trained well, and there was a training tournament here. When we prepare for the Champions Trophy, we put in a lot of effort, and as a team we are ready for this."

Despite his optimism, Mathews will know the team has further to go than if they had all embarked on their flight to England with runs and wickets to commend them. However, there is also truth in his assertion that the Champions Trophy is a different beast. Alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka have been the most consistent side at major tournaments in the last six years, making it to four finals in their last six ICC events. Their results leading in to each tournament have not always suggested they would progress to the final.

On each of those occasions, the team has ignited at the beginning of the tournament, finding, as a collective, gears that elude them in many bilateral affairs. By the time the group stage is complete, they have been marked as favourites, and have ridden that momentum to the final, where vexing decisions and uncharacteristic nerves have hastened their ultimate demise.

Chief among the reasons for their sudden surge has, in the past, been leadership. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara matured as cricketers before they were handed the reins, and have proven shrewd as captains in major tournaments.

Mathews may possess a steel temperament, but he has not yet shown himself as a canny leader, and his batting form is a law unto itself - failing abruptly just when formidable scores are beginning to cluster together. His bowling has been more consistent, and it is this that has helped make him a vital part of the Sri Lanka side since his arrival. He is yet, however, to truly establish himself on the international stage in the way that almost every Sri Lankan captain has before him.

The Champions Trophy is his biggest assignment yet, as captain, and his challenge has been magnified by the state of his own game, as well as those of the side's senior batsmen. If Mathews can stir up the familiar courage Sri Lanka teams have embraced in recent tournaments, he will emerge a secure leader, and repay the faith he has been afforded. If he cannot, he will remain a young captain on trial, with plenty still to prove.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 2, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Hey Andrew, Do you remember that Arjuna got the captaincy when he was around 25 and he was sacked and Aravinda was made captain ? Then when Arjuna was made captain again he prospered. His first term was a arrogant one and many of us hated him for his know all attitude and in the second term he was the consultative captain. So give him a chance or else some would think you are one of Siriniwasan's son in laws.We cannot expect Mathews to be a Arjuna, Attapattu or a Mahela instantly. But in the time to come he may be among the best ever.

    Also remember he played for Sri Lanka Under 19 almost from the age of 15 and captain them for almost 2 years and SLC was wise to give him exposure all around the world as a youngster. Read some of his domestic and SL A records in England, Austrailia and South Africa to see why is a man for crisis. My only regret is he is not showing a little precaution in tests or else he would have had over 4 test hundred by now as against 1.

  • ms2000 on May 30, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    If one thinks sensibly, Mathews is definitely not a leader and does not pocess the leadeship qualities of captain representing a nation. He is definitely a good player and has a long way to go to prove himself a Captain. Appointing him as the Captain is dfeintely a big blunder.

  • on May 30, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    this is ridiculous IPL is just a domestic competition don't compare its performence with ODI s. it's all about team work. for a example WI players performing well in IPL. but you will see how they perform as a team. and it's really unfair to expecting magic from Angelo. he just begin his role as a captain. I think as a unit Sri Lanka is very strong

  • Prem2248 on May 30, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    quality batters the class of S'weera, M'thews,…that has all skills to demoralize any bowling attack, as middle-order. Due to this incompetency of Jokers the most reliable batters that I've mentioned last very often had to go to bat, when the Team was precariously placed, particularly on lively pitches, most of the times, causing immense damage, to the Team as well as to their reputation.During this Champions Trophy Tournament 2 of the seniors should be asked to wait out since they have done nothing to win a series during the last 5 years. As a fan I strongly feel their International careers should be sealed after this series.

  • Prem2248 on May 30, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    M'thews is a proven schoolboy Cricketer that has been maintaining consistency from his age of 15. He is a batter that has full control over his stroke play. It has been not so with the over-hyped 3 seniors due to defective techniques they possess. 2 of the 3 do not know how to defend a total when it is really needed (can't stroke the ball all along the ground when it matters most, particularly on the leg-side) and the other the most over-valued has only very limited attacking strokes. This is the main reason why that SL couldn't win a single series even at Home apart from B'desh (2007) since Attapattu left from the top-order. The problem mainly lies with the Jokers (and the local media) of last 2 decades, because their reluctance (ignorance) to employ proven, quality Schoolboy Cricketers, at right times, they feel that reckless hitting is the most suited in all forms of the Game, therefore they have always employed reckless, risky stroke makers as front-liners and (2B CNTD)

  • Dhutugemunu on May 30, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    SL players didn't score plenty of runs or took a lot of wickets during IPL (a T20 series). Lost one rain affected ODI to BD in the last ODI series. Because of those two reasons, SL will be out of the Champions Trophy at the Group stage. ;)

  • on May 29, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Give him a chance will you? even Arjuna Ranatunga was not born in overnight. he also need experience, bitter truth of defeting. it's too early to comment anything on his leadership, of course you can comment on his batting, bowling form of recent past. leadership qualities normally come with experience. his recent form is pathetic.

  • on May 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    Sri Lanka have been able to make it to the final of ICC tournaments regularly so I think they will do well this time as well. They have a pretty strong limited overs team with very good batsmen at the top and some effective all-rounders. The bowling attack is also decent for ODIs. The players to watch out for will be Sangakkara, Chandimal, Malinga, T Perera and Kulasekara, if you ask me.

  • Harshmeswanirafanadal on May 29, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Srilanka lacks a good leader, Mahela had he not stepped down would ve been better. Their experienced guys are miserably out of form from ipl. They will lose out against Aus and eng and even if they reach they'll lose to India/sa/pak. Good luck SL, ur gonna need it!

  • MAK123 on May 29, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @Shekhar Saminathan: Yeah you are spot on - all SL players barring T. Parrera conserved their energy in an excellent manner. They proved to be a bad joke in IPL 2013

  • on June 2, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Hey Andrew, Do you remember that Arjuna got the captaincy when he was around 25 and he was sacked and Aravinda was made captain ? Then when Arjuna was made captain again he prospered. His first term was a arrogant one and many of us hated him for his know all attitude and in the second term he was the consultative captain. So give him a chance or else some would think you are one of Siriniwasan's son in laws.We cannot expect Mathews to be a Arjuna, Attapattu or a Mahela instantly. But in the time to come he may be among the best ever.

    Also remember he played for Sri Lanka Under 19 almost from the age of 15 and captain them for almost 2 years and SLC was wise to give him exposure all around the world as a youngster. Read some of his domestic and SL A records in England, Austrailia and South Africa to see why is a man for crisis. My only regret is he is not showing a little precaution in tests or else he would have had over 4 test hundred by now as against 1.

  • ms2000 on May 30, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    If one thinks sensibly, Mathews is definitely not a leader and does not pocess the leadeship qualities of captain representing a nation. He is definitely a good player and has a long way to go to prove himself a Captain. Appointing him as the Captain is dfeintely a big blunder.

  • on May 30, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    this is ridiculous IPL is just a domestic competition don't compare its performence with ODI s. it's all about team work. for a example WI players performing well in IPL. but you will see how they perform as a team. and it's really unfair to expecting magic from Angelo. he just begin his role as a captain. I think as a unit Sri Lanka is very strong

  • Prem2248 on May 30, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    quality batters the class of S'weera, M'thews,…that has all skills to demoralize any bowling attack, as middle-order. Due to this incompetency of Jokers the most reliable batters that I've mentioned last very often had to go to bat, when the Team was precariously placed, particularly on lively pitches, most of the times, causing immense damage, to the Team as well as to their reputation.During this Champions Trophy Tournament 2 of the seniors should be asked to wait out since they have done nothing to win a series during the last 5 years. As a fan I strongly feel their International careers should be sealed after this series.

  • Prem2248 on May 30, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    M'thews is a proven schoolboy Cricketer that has been maintaining consistency from his age of 15. He is a batter that has full control over his stroke play. It has been not so with the over-hyped 3 seniors due to defective techniques they possess. 2 of the 3 do not know how to defend a total when it is really needed (can't stroke the ball all along the ground when it matters most, particularly on the leg-side) and the other the most over-valued has only very limited attacking strokes. This is the main reason why that SL couldn't win a single series even at Home apart from B'desh (2007) since Attapattu left from the top-order. The problem mainly lies with the Jokers (and the local media) of last 2 decades, because their reluctance (ignorance) to employ proven, quality Schoolboy Cricketers, at right times, they feel that reckless hitting is the most suited in all forms of the Game, therefore they have always employed reckless, risky stroke makers as front-liners and (2B CNTD)

  • Dhutugemunu on May 30, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    SL players didn't score plenty of runs or took a lot of wickets during IPL (a T20 series). Lost one rain affected ODI to BD in the last ODI series. Because of those two reasons, SL will be out of the Champions Trophy at the Group stage. ;)

  • on May 29, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Give him a chance will you? even Arjuna Ranatunga was not born in overnight. he also need experience, bitter truth of defeting. it's too early to comment anything on his leadership, of course you can comment on his batting, bowling form of recent past. leadership qualities normally come with experience. his recent form is pathetic.

  • on May 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    Sri Lanka have been able to make it to the final of ICC tournaments regularly so I think they will do well this time as well. They have a pretty strong limited overs team with very good batsmen at the top and some effective all-rounders. The bowling attack is also decent for ODIs. The players to watch out for will be Sangakkara, Chandimal, Malinga, T Perera and Kulasekara, if you ask me.

  • Harshmeswanirafanadal on May 29, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Srilanka lacks a good leader, Mahela had he not stepped down would ve been better. Their experienced guys are miserably out of form from ipl. They will lose out against Aus and eng and even if they reach they'll lose to India/sa/pak. Good luck SL, ur gonna need it!

  • MAK123 on May 29, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @Shekhar Saminathan: Yeah you are spot on - all SL players barring T. Parrera conserved their energy in an excellent manner. They proved to be a bad joke in IPL 2013

  • on May 29, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    I like the fact that none of our Sri Lankan players burnt out at IPL. They played smart and conserved their energy for the upcoming Champion's Trophy. Yes, the 20 over format is completely different to ODI and that's why we have two separate teams with Specialist players.. Good Luck Sri Lanka and this time win the trophy...

  • on May 29, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Mr Mathews will have to make his bat talk and not his mouth at the champions trophy matches. He together with sanga, Mahela and Dilshan will have to carry the side thro as the other rookies have hardly had any experience in English conditions.

  • Jinasoma on May 29, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    @mrgupta-We hadn't lost to Bangladesh when we met at last time.We won test series and tied an ODI series just because rain.I agree we showed poor performance at Asia cup but we lost only one match against Bangladesh.But trust me it's also modify total Bangladesh achieved.Rain had played big roll when we played together.We played well our last 3 ODI tournments against Bangladesh,Australia[2-2tied],New Zealand[3-0womn]Just enough.

  • on May 29, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    im been a SL fan but this tornament, we wont have much scope. 9 guys in the 11 member team were playing constant cricket for 2 months, 20 odd matches per person. While only 1 or 2 players from other teams played in IPL. i'm not saying SL players shouldnt play in IPL. after all, everyone wants to earn money. like wise, SL fans too just carry on with their business than concentrate on this match where exhausted, out of form, happy n financially satisfied players going to play.

  • mrgupta on May 29, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @Isuru-Horana: Last 3 outings mean last 3 completed games including the game in Asia Cup. BD won two of those 3 completed games. Since World Cup 2011 Final, SL has played 57 ODI and Won 23, lost 29. Their Win-loss ratio since last world Cup is poorest among top 6 and only marginally better than next placed West Indies. I am not against SL, i was just saying that they have not been upto their own standards in International cricket in last few years.

  • MAK123 on May 29, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    There are only three true champions and they are Australia, SA and England. The rest are there just to make the number

  • NIPPY_89 on May 29, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    I am looking forward to young players like thirimana, chandimal, kusal perera, akila dananjaya playing against some good teams. I dont think akila will get a chance though.

  • Jinasoma on May 29, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @mrgupta-What do you mean last three outing?ODI or test?We had played 3ODIs against BAN at January.1st match we won by 8 wickets hand.2nd match not played because due to rain.3rd match we had scored 302 runs but they got 183 target for 27 overs because rain.They won that match.BAN was very lucky.Rain helped lot to BAN.We don't care about our players ipl performance.Because our players do well in international level.

  • mrgupta on May 29, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    @CSI_R2C: In their last 3 outings against Bangladesh SL has lost twice. In the last Asia Cup they came last with no Wins. Against Bangladesh they barely manged to Win the test series and squared the ODIs. In the IPL a tournament with global players their players performed very badly. Even great players like Sanga and Jaya were extremely poor. I know its not right to compare T20 and ODI cricket but still the performance in a competitive tournament has to be taken into account. I personally feel though Sanga will be the best SL player in England no matter how he performed in IPL. But for rest SL really have a lot of work to do.

  • Joeblack0874 on May 28, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    The writing is already on the wall for Matthews. Within twelve months of him being made the captain of all three versions of the game, he had been replaced by Chandimal for ODIs. That in itself showed that he was never going to be a long term captain. Only the Sri Lankan Board will know the reasons. As for Matthew's captaincy and performance, England was the stage where he performed and made a name for himself. Trent Bridge and that catch on the boundary line. Ever since then, others have now mastered it too. T20 is the Sri Lanka's forte. Those who write them off are making a huge mistake. Once again, they are underdogs and this is going to suit them fin. Mahela should come good along with Sangakkara as they have always shown character. Dilshan is another huge cog in their engine room. Talent wise, SL have plenty to choose from It will be good to see how the young players perform.

  • ThyrSaadam on May 28, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    SL batsmen will be found wanting, actually so will all subcontinet teams. Pakistan have the best chance, among all sub-continent as only they posses the bowling attack to trouble the opposition, provided their batsmen actually perform.

  • Dr.Lakson on May 28, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    @CRLShamalka. I agree with you. Author has a problem with Mathews and keeps on pointing kinks rather than giving a true picture of of his abilities. Not sure if this comment will be published as two similar comments for this same article was not published.

  • KingOwl on May 28, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    I kept saying it's the weather that matters. Well, it still remains the weather. And I just noticed the new article where Angie says pretty much the same thing!

  • rajithwijepura on May 28, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    Srilanka never started any ICC tournament as favorite. They always treated as underdogs. But they performed consistently on those tournament. Probably second best after Australia. If anyone underestimate Srilanka, that will be a big mistake.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    Anyways no point arguing about this cause it won't come to an end otherwise. Personally I'd prefer SL to qualify for semis than Australia so I'd just like to convey my good wishes to SL team from an Indian fan.

  • on May 28, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka are an ordinary team. They are just not good enough to win this trophy and cannot produce players like Attapatu, Vass or De Silva anymore. Sadly on the decline but we want to see the attacking Sri Lanka team again.

  • CSI_R2C on May 28, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I wander whether am I reading a Comedy article.ANDREW compares SL performance vs IPL. What a nice joke. Even a child could understand that T20 and ODI are two different formats. How come Kusal Perera warmed benches when he has been given 2 chances. Had he given more opportunities,he would have been a useful batsman in those conditions. Cricinfo, Please publish articles without bias..

  • Jinasoma on May 28, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @Andrew27994-We have three warm up matches against Pakistan,India and West Indies.Let see what will happen.Anyway Mahela is our best player at England.He scored 13 centuries against England and 5 centuries came at England.All Srilankans like to see Kusal as a opener.Because this kid has a something special talent.Did you see?

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    @andrew27994 ; Yeah, its 33 not 38. my bad. Anyway that doesn't change the fact that Sanga is a versatile batsman who has succeeded in various batting positions in ODI's. Btw your point about SL batsmen is hilarious. Of course, our best batsmen always bat on up the order to face maximum no. of balls. So are you saying that batsmen like Sanga n Mahela should bat at no. 6 or 7 to prove you something. LOL What are you man ?? All these players like Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan, (even Jayasuriya n Kalu) started playing at no. 6 or 7. And they did pretty well down there. That's why they got promoted to top order. If you don't have something solid to add , pls leave it alone coz you are not making any valid arguments here.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on May 28, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    @andrew27994 HA HA, At the end of Champ T. Kusal will be more than experienced. Facing Quality bowlers in swinging and seaming conditions is a rare chance. Besides its not that SL batting is heavily reliant on Kusal. its better for Kusal to score a 20 ball 30 than a Mahela 30 ball 20. Indian batting is heavily reliant in Kohli because he is the only in the side who looks decent vs pace.

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    @andrew27994 ; Don't worry buddy, there are 3 practice matches for Kusal to get used to English conditions. Furthermore He has done well in Pallekele which is similar to the pitches in England.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : Firstly, you need to get your eyesight checked because Sanga's avg at 5 is 33.89 and not 38.89.And secondly, my point about most SL batsmen in the team is that they all make good batsmen when they bat in the top order but they aren't as effective in the middle order.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    @Isuru-Horana : Don't you think it's a little too early to let Kusal open the batting in seaming and swinging conditions ? Shouldn't he perhaps get a bit more experience in such conditions before he opens ?

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    @Isuru-Horana : So you mean to say that a batsman is considered good only if he scores 100s and that too in an ODI match? You are forgetting the fact that all these batsmen who scored 100s either opened the batting or at No.3 and 4. India has a relatively new opening combination and our middle order batsmen like Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja don't get sufficient overs to score 100s. Their job is to accelerate the scoring rate, running the quick 1s, 2s and 3s and slog at the death overs which they have done successfully. However, I'm not excusing Rohit Sharma who was given adequate opportunities to achieve it.

  • lukecannon on May 28, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Blaah Blaah Blaah... Whatever the Indian fans have to say we honestly dont care. The very fact a tiny nation like ourselves battle countries the size of continents is inspiring enough for me. I hve decorated my office Sri lankan style as well and will cheer for SL from the stands. I urge all Sri Lankans living in the UK to come and support our country at one of the finest Cricket tournaments ever.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on May 28, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    Our team is strong enough. Sometimes the best way to play Fast bowling or spin bowling is to attack. Attack is the best Defense. Kusal can play all the attacking shots and he also very intelligent (like Hussey, Gayle) unlike other cricketers. All he teams in Group 01 rely heavily on the new ball (Southee,Anderson,Starc) . Once you see of that threat it becomes easy to tee off. Openers has been our biggest problems in the recent finals, openers like Jayawardene and Thranga demand time while Kusal can attack at will. Even if Kusal gets out you will have to remove Sanga and Chandimal who are the best players of Pace bowling in the side.

  • Jinasoma on May 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    @Andrew27994-Probably you are an Indian fan.So i compared our CT batting lineup and your CT batting lineup.Let see how many international hundreds our players have scored AT ENGLAND[not against England].Mahela-5,Sanga-1,Dilshan-1,Chandimal-1.Our CT team have scored 8 centuries at England.And yours,Dhawan-Only one century at india,Murali Vijay-No international century yet out of the subcontinent,Raina-no centuries yet out of the SC,Rohit-No centuries yet out of the SC,Dhoni-no century out of the SC,Karthik-no centuries yet,Kohli-1.finally Kohli has got it.Please don't worry about our batting line up.Worry about your batting lineup.

  • on May 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    HAHA our boys perform for country, They always do!

    andrew just writer article when our boys are doing good ;)

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    @andrew27994 ; Its pretty silly of you to point out how Sehwag played against Dilhara 8 years ago in one lousy over. What does it tell you ? Nothing !! Not just Dilhara, even Great Murali , Steyn n Warne have also gone for plenty in a few occasions. lol By the way, Sri Lanka won that match. :)) And Dilhara has done well recently in the domestic circuit.

    For your argument that Sanga isn't a versatile batsman, I can tell you how he has performed in different positions.

    Position No.1 - avg 40.75 - 1 100 / Position No.2 - avg 41.41 - 3 100's / Position No.3 - avg 40.16 - 7 100's / Position No.4 - avg 40.64 - 3 100's / Position No.5 - avg 38.89 - 3 50's

    Is that versatile enough for you ?

    And about Kusal, we're in the process of building a solid team for the future. So Kusal must be groomed to fill the void along with Dimuthu in the future as the opening pair. We've good good young talents to fill the top n middle order such as Angelo Perera n Thiri.

  • Jinasoma on May 28, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    @Andrew27994-Kusal had opened the innings at that t20 matches at Australia.And he did well and he had shown he was very comfortable at this position.That's why Kusal became an opener at BAN series.Everyone says Kusal is a Jayasuriya kind of player.But i think Kusal has better technique than Jayasuriya.You said Kusal had scored 300+ runs at num 4 position.But i like to say that it's also different format.This is ODI.Don't compare different formats.Just like that-Sachin plays num4 at tests but he opens the innings at ODIs.SL want explosive opener.That's Sl style.Kalu,Sanath,Dilshan have done it so far.Now it's time to young generation.

  • MelbourneMiracle on May 28, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    According Andrew Fernando, Mathews has to do everything. Then why there're 11 playing in a game if Mathews is supposed to everything? Come on dude! He's still young and he just got the captaincy in his hands so do not expect him to wonders. It is a team game and we could surely win the CT if the entire teams clicks together. Stop pointing out your finger at one player all the time. I could bring in many articles written by you questioning Mathews' batting and captaincy skills to the discussion here. If you an honest supporter of the Sri Lankan team, support the young captain rather than pointing out only his weaknesses all the time.

  • KingOwl on May 28, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    We can argue for ages. But the fact is that in the end it is the weather that matters. Watch the long term weather forecast. Is it very much on the plus side of 22C? Is the sun out shining brightly? These are the things that will matter. SL are not great in seaming conditions. Mahela is poor at playing the moving ball. Sanga needs time to get adjusted. If Dilshan fires at the top to unsettle the bowlers, it will work. But, can't depend on Dilshan to fire all the time. Kusal is still untested in seaming conditions. So, if the top collapses, the middle order will be in trouble. The only positive is that only a handful of teams ARE good in seaming conditions. England and SA. Even in those teams, not everyone plays seam well. Australia are poor these days and so are NZ. The rest have never been good playing seam. So, I think there are still good chances. We just need the SUN!

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @Bseball-Sucks : Another point to be noted is that individuals should never perform multiple roles as it just complicates things. That's why I think that Kushal, being a newcomer should be given a place which he is more comfortable and accustomed to which is batting at 4 or 5. Mahela who has been brilliant as an opener and with his experience is the best man for the job. Even Jayasuriya chose the squad on the basis of experience.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : A batsman can bat at many different positions because the team might want to experiment. But he must be successful in all positions to call him a versatile batsman. Sanga hasn't been successful at all positions. Very few batsmen like Mike Hussey and even to an extent Kevin Pietersen can be successful in any position.

    When Kushal Perera scored that 336 for the Colts, didn't he bat at No.4 ? This means that he doesn't necessarily have to imitate Jayasuriya and open the batting like he did.

    I know Lokuhettige is a good all-rounder but I haven't forgotten that he once got torn apart from none other than Virender Sehwag. I don't think it will happen to him again but he may not be so confident as yet. If he does well in the warm-up matches then perhaps his confidence will improve.

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    @ andrew27994 ; LOL, I do know what middle order means. LOL In your comment you said that we solely depend on our opening pair for a solid foundation. That's why I pointed out our batting order from no.3 to no.7 so that even though our openers fail to fire, there are plenty of batsmen down the line to rebuild the innings. FYI, Sanga has batted at many positions from opening batsman to no.6. So he is as versatile as Mahela.

    As I told you, Mahela can bat at any position. He's opened the innings in crisis situations. But Now, there is no need for him to open as Kusal is there. And Kusal is the best player to open coz he is less volatile in seaming conditions with his high-elbow batting style unlike Jayasuriya. And he is fearless n ready to take on any bowler. He is bringing back the Sri Lankan Band of Cricket.

    And do you know about the new inclusion of allrounder Dilhara Lokuhettige who is a hard hitter like Thisara ?? As I told you its all good in the hood :))

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : Yes, Kushal might have been successful in Australia but in that series he was asked to bat in the middle order and finish games. If he is made to open the batting like he did against BD , he may not find it so easy. Perhaps if he swaps places with Mahela, it might prove to be a boon for SL.

    And I don't think you understand the meaning of middle order. Sanga is a top order batsman buddy and not a middle order batsman.

    SL's problem over the years is that they have a lot of good top order players but not good enough middle order batsmen. Players like Silva, Kapugedara, Kandamby and even Tharanga have been tried and tested but all have failed. Mathews looks the closest to being that player SL need but he is still not the finished article yet.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : First of all, I'm not even judging the SL players on IPL performance. I never criticised Sanga inspite of his poor performance. If you look at Mahela's records closely, you would've noticed that his average and strike rate is a lot higher when he opens the batting. He might've scored most of his runs @ No.4 but that's because he has batted at that position for a majority of his career. A player as talented as Mahela should never average 34 with a strike rate of 76 in the middle order position. Mahela is much more like Tendulkar when he opens the batting.

  • tanstell87 on May 28, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Indian fan here....i think it will be either Sri Lanka or South Africa who will triumph in the last edition of this prestigious ODI tournament.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    @Sulochana Jinadari Peiris : While I agree about your statements against Australian team, you have to consider that the conditions are more suitable to their team. They have one of the best pace attacks in the world and their batsmen are excellent against pace but weak against spinners. Players like Hughes and Bailey could display the best of their potential in this tournament. Also don't forget the fact that playing against their rivals, England might keep the team charged up in the 1st round of the competition.

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 28, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    @andrew27994 ; You are just making some baseless statements here. First, Kusal is a hot property. He was tested back in Aussie n then again in SL. He passed those tests with flying colors.

    Don't bring your IPL yardstick to measure up the class of the legends like Mahela n Sanga.This is a different ball game. Mahela is a versatile player. He can bat at any position. How could you say that Mahela is a horrible middle order batsman. ? lol He has opened the innings in a few occasions. he has made 90% of his runs as a middle order batsman.

    And you are talking about a weak middle order. Dude, Mahela, Sanga, Mathews n Chandimal are our middle order. Does it look like a weak middle order to u ?

    And You are talking how difficult it will be for Thisara to face Aussie bowlers. Are you kidding me ?? Didn't u see how Thisara spanked those Aussies bowlers all over the park a few months back.

    Playing as a cohesive unit is our strength. As an unit, WE STAND TALL !!!!

  • on May 28, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @ andrew27994 : I can't believe you guys attitude towards cricket. I agree England may have a Edge based on their Conditions and Current Form of their Team. But i dnt think Australia Could even manage to win a Single game in this occasion. Believe Me Australia is the weakest Link in this Champions trophy Their performance in recent events are Not good enough. Australia does not have the Same team as Gilly ,Williams and Punter in the bag. if we focus on SL there recent tour against England was not bad at all. they lost tour but result was 2 to 3 . and that final match was very tight and they lost by 6 runs or very narrow margin. so i dnt think that conditions will be very difficult for Sri lanka batmen. Actually their recently develop pitches are more suited for fast bowlers.they are not flat tracks like in Indian pitches. also i guess Malinga , kulasekara may find England pitches as interesting!

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @Isuru-Horana : As for your argument about SA batsmen in T20 WC 2012, I knew from the beginning that they wouldn't be successful because both Amla and Kallis aren't T20 batsmen and since they batted in the top order it was their responsibility of getting the team off to quick starts which never looked likely. That was the 1 tournament where they didnt choke but got outplayed. They have plenty of youngsters like Ingram, Ontong, Miller, Davids,Wiese and Vilas who could've occupied those positions. And their ODI squad looks very strong but their drawback is that they don't have Kallis who would've improved the balance of their side.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @Isuru-Horana : Please don't compare 2 entirely different formats of the game. SL's problem is about batting the full 50 overs. The bowling looks secure enough with fit guys like Malinga, Kula and Perera but the batting doesn't. However, I agree about what you said about Chandimal. But what I've noticed from SL's recent matches since the retirement of Murali is that they have usually won matches when their openers have done well. But when their openers fail they usually collapse. It's their middle order batting that needs to be taken care of.

  • andrew27994 on May 28, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    @Muditha De Silva : My apologies. He played 1 ODI if I am not mistaken and finished off a match for SL right ? But opening the batting in England is never easy so it would've been better for someone with experience like Jayawardene to open with Dilshan.

  • NUNA_1980 on May 28, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    This is the my prediction for Champions Trophy…. Sri Lanka will lose against both Pakistan and Indian practice matches, they will come back strongly and go through to the semi and Final. Then again they will lose final to South Africa. I believe they will do it for Kirsten >>> This tome for Africa Waka Waka

  • on May 28, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Thisara played in south Africa and won matches single handedly, and in australia also, according to statics Sri Lankans are more fluent in SA AUS NZ ENG than other sub continent teams. so Indians who comment here dont worry on sri lankan batting. worry yourselves who have medicore batting in bouncy tracks, only kohli will perform on englend, but we have chandimal who has performed well in AUS SA than home conditions ,Thirimanne most reliable now and sanga mahela who white washed england 5-0 in england in 2006/2007. so indians why worry on SLC. we are more safe than you in England.

  • Prem2248 on May 28, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    laying Duck, by not knowing the need of absorbing the promising youngsters, the class of Alistare Cooke, Trott,Bell, de Villiers,Kholi,Pujara, that come out of schools every year, into the Team at regular basis. It was sad to note even some youngsters that the J&Ps have picked and talked highly about are reckless inconsistent batters as seniors in the Team and some bowlers too are erratic average bowlers (average even at Domestic Level), they have been picked just for the size of the body (and to allow them to earn few Dollars at the cost of promising youngsters). We would like to see more promising young players in the Team, for that to happen, SL should import good St's from Countries like England that has proper knowledge of the Game. (Stats can be verified at Cricinfo&Cricket Archives)

  • Prem2248 on May 28, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    proven schoolboy Cricketers, the class of S'weera, if his (S'weera's) class of batters had been allowed to bat at No 3, SL would have been a different team altogether. When reckless batters (never in a position to demoralize confidence of opposition bowlers, unless it was a flat-pitch) are employed as front-liners even the genius like batters may find it difficult to perform, down in the batting order, which has always been the case with S'weera & M'thews of recent times. What we can judge with the current happenings in SL with regard to Cricket is that these greedy seniors together with the incompetent officials will ruin the Future of Cricket in SL. For information of all, at present the number of tournaments being played and the number of matches allocated for each tournament have also been reduced and they don't arange foreign tours for Jouniors it is not so with countries like India &B'desh. They are yet to realise that they are in the path of killing the Golden-Egg(2B CNTD)

  • Prem2248 on May 28, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Cricketer of the Year Award twice in 94 & 95 (this was awarded for consistency maintained during one school-season). As proven by all over-hyped front-line batters in this touring-squad , that the batters that are inconsistent at school level would be inconsistent in their entire careers (because one can't maintain any form consistency without having proper control over one's stroke play. The J&Ps are yet to realise this very fact). The J&Ps in the Country have thought differently, therefore these jokers have always preferred a batter that score a 300 hundred in one single innings but failed (less than 20 runs) in all 10 following innings, to quality batter that can get scores above 50 in 9 out of 10 innings played. Therefore SL's failing to win a series at Home since 2007 (apart from B'desh) is always on the card. Me as a fan strongly feel that all these inconsistent players have to be removed from the team sooner than the later and those vital places should be filled with(2B CNTD)

  • Prem2248 on May 28, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    in the Country, didn't have such school careers to boast of, even though they are being employed as front-line bats (the main reason of SL's poor performances since 2007).The whole Cricketing World but the J&Ps knows that, they are flat- footed, reckless inconsistent batters (None of these Bats have skills to bat under pressure against quality bowlers even on a wicket good for batters, it has been proven time & time again since 2007). What have they done in their recent previous tours to ENG, SA, and AUS? The answer is just nothing though; though the J&Ps have talked highly about their experience. J&Ps of last 25 years have been lacking true science of the type of batting skills required at the International level, that is why they've forced T'lkar (780 Int. innings)& Dravid(605 Int. innings) like batters in the Country to retire early e.g. S'weera 160 odd Int. innings only. Incidentally S'weera was a proven Schoolboy Cricketer, that has won the coveted Best Schoolboy (2B CNTD)

  • Prem2248 on May 28, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    What Mathew's needs is a team of quality promising players. The team that has been given is filled with some inconsistent batters and few average bowlers, apart from; Mathews, Chandimal, T'manne, Malinga, Nuwan, Eranga & Senanayake all others are just pilgrims. By the way Mathews has nothing to prove here, he has proved more than enough since his Schooldays (being the runner-up of the Best Schoolboy batter of the Year in 2007, and thereafter in Domestic Tournements, however the Best Schoolboy batter of the same year, 'Nilushan Nonis' has never been even considered for selection(though he had maintained same consistency in the Domestic Tournements just after leaving school) so as many other brilliant schoolboy cricketers of last 2 decades. Mathews was able to make into the side over other quality players, because of his bowling abilities, in contrast the 3 self-centred seniors that don't want to get themselves dropped nor do they have any concern for the future of Cricket(2B CNTD)

  • Jinasoma on May 28, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    @Andrew27994-Don't worry mate.We aren't one man army.We play as a unit.Why did you say we haven't batting fire power?We have two explosive openers[Dilshan,Kusal]We have two anchor rolls[Sanga,Mahela]We have two good finishers[Mathews,Thisara]And Dilhara,Kulasekara also can bat.I don't think both Sanga and Mahela fail at one match.If Sanga and Mahela fail we have Chandimal.So don't worry about our batting lineup.Do you remember t20WC 2012?And do you remember SA's batting lineup.Amla,Levi,Faf,kallis,AB,Duminy,Morkel,Botha,Behardin...Look at their fire power.But what they did?Our out of form inconsistent Dilshan,Mahela,Sanga,Mathews are runners up.Cricket is a team work.Not individuals.

  • ajithabey on May 28, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Playing in England is a different ball game due to the weather conditions,different pitches and ball movement.Our players will do well to adjust quickly to the conditions and play according to merit if they are to progress to the final stages of this tournament.Hopefully, the experienced Mahela,Sanga,Dilshan,Malinga and Herath will make an effort to be consistent and lead by example. Good Luck SL for a successful tournament.

  • MH19 on May 28, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    I totally agree with some comments from our fellow Sri Lankans. We have not prepaired our selves at all for this as most of the top players warmed the bench ratherthan playing due to pathetic performance.IPL is also not the real measurement or the right format people can judge as anyone can play 20/20 you dont need much planning and strategies or adjustments.SL has no chance even winning 2 games with quality opposition and this will really hurt them moving forward. Dinesh Chandimal is a Better Captain and will lead the side well.Mathews did not know if he was standing or sitting and clueless when he led the Warriors.

  • on May 28, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Despite Mathew's comments, matter of fact is that our form and cohesion as a team remain a concern. Yes, they are professionals and should be able to adapt themselves to different conditions and formats but they have not played as a unit for some time. It was unfortunate that domestic triangular was poorly attended by national team due to their IPL commitments. That would have given our team a good platform to test themselves as a team.

    Anyway, wish you guys all success in upcoming Champions Trophy!

  • Siyambala on May 28, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    Everyone sees upul tharanga's inconsistency, but forgets mahela's inconsistency. Mahela best captain, Mahela's class, Mahela gentleman, mahela this mahela that. Mahela has only made one 50 since June 2012. Now is the time to perform. So I'm counting on Dilshan, Kushal, Mahela, Sanga, Mathews, just the whole team needs to perform, obviously. But if someway, somehow, they make it to finals, I'm not counting on them.

  • KingOwl on May 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    I am afraid this is a really poor article. The so called form in the IPL is the least of worries that SL has. Playing 50 over cricket in seaming England will be nothing like playing T20 in the slow, low, sluggish wickets of India. In fact, this time many teams had prepared really sluggish wickets. You need to be a power hitter to be able to make runs on such wickets. You can't use timing or the speed of the ball to score runs. So, those IPL matches are no measure of the form of players. I think the big challenge will be seam movement, as a couple of contributors has said. If out batsmen can cope seam, they will do well. But it won't be easy. The best hope is for the sun to come out. The moment the temperature goes above 22C or so, our boys will be in business, big time. If it is a wet, soggy, miserable Summer (the usual), then our boy will have problems.

  • Htc-Android on May 27, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    @andrew27994. Sri lanka do have a lot young of talents coming in. Chandimal scored most of his runs in overseas wickets like Eng,Aus and SA. If I am wrong then show me a youngstar from subcontinent who has better record than Chandimal in overseas wickets? Also we have some other youngstars like kusal, thiriamanne, thissara. The sad part is these guys dont get enough chances due to prensence of our seniors.

  • on May 27, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    andrew what are you on about? kushal has played in australia

  • andrew27994 on May 27, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : First of all, you've gotta notice how inconsistent Mahela has been in the ODI format. He's a great opener but horrible as a middle order batsman. As far as Eranga and Welegedara are concerned, they may be fast bowlers but neither are consistent nor do they maintain fitness. Haven't you noticed that Welegedara just injured himself recently? I hope you also read about my comment on Mathews not being the complete finisher SL require. I know Perera is an explosive hitter but trust me he will find it very hard against quality bowling attacks like England and Australia who will expose his weakness. As far as Kushal Perera is concerned, it is his first assignment overseas so his success remains to be seen.

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 27, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    @andrew27994 ; No, it is not. What r u talking about? We have great young talents like Kusal "the reincarnation of Jayasuriya" , Mathews , Chandimal , Thisara Perera along with legends like Sanga n Mahela. And we've got the world best limited overs bowler in Malinga + Kula, Eranga (145+). So its all good in the hood. Btw do I really need to tell you what a explosive finisher Thisara Perera is. LOL You need to do some research before come n comment here. G'day !!!!

  • on May 27, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Seam movement dose not matter in limited overs. Batsman play on the back put most of the time rather than trying to drive the ball. That why in England , most of the Asian teams perform well in limited over cricket.

  • Ahgg on May 27, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    @narbavi

    slap-bang adv Informal chiefly Brit 1. in a violent, sudden, or noisy manner US equivalent slam-bang 2. directly or immediately slap-bang in the middle Collins English Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

  • Jadejafan on May 27, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka has no chance of winning this trophy. Don't have enough firepower and for a team that struggles against a team like BD, we know what we shall expect from them in this trophy coming up but good luck! ;)

  • andrew27994 on May 27, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks : The talent in Sri Lanka is pretty thin, isn't it? Especially the batting lineup which is mostly dependent on Sangakkara and Dilshan. Most of SL batsmen prefer opening the batting so they fail to have any decent finishers. I hear Mathews is supposed to be a reliable one but most of the times leaves the job incomplete.

  • Metro-ant on May 27, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    To justify Sanga's performance or any other player that has failed based on a mere switching of formats is ridiculous and as Mathews himself said 'We are professionals'. You're getting paid, you need to perform. I think Sanga and Jayawardene should have stuck to playing international cricket and in particular test cricket for the betterment of the team, instead they're chasing money in India and pushing themselves in formats at national levels where they are a liability for the rest of the team. Just look at Ponting. Yes he played one or two games in the first IPL but after that he knew he was at the tail end of his career and that his focus should be solely on the Australian team. If the number 1 test ranking was a stake does anyone think Alastair Cook would be off playing IPL with that at stake? Look at your priorities Sri Lanka!

  • DilumSL on May 27, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Seriously how in the earth that IPL (Some domestic tournament) become the measurement of the form of players. I'm not saying that SL players at their peak. But we can't say players are out of form because of their bad performance in IPL. IPL is just another local tournament in India that involves money more than other tournament. Actually no need for words we will see what will happen to these IPL heroes when it comes to real cricket

  • on May 27, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Sri lanka have great boys nice 15 member squad akk the best we want ICC Trophy

  • Jinasoma on May 27, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Don't worry Andrew Fidel Fernando.IPL is a different format.Mathews is too good that bouncy conditions.Malinga,Sachithra,Thisara in good form.And we know how good Kula with his swing.And our Kusal is such a devastating batsman.Don't worry our players do well in international level than club level like IPL.

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 27, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @ Ahgg ; Totally agree with you buddy. Its beyond insane to use some domestic Twenty20 competition as a yardstick to measure up the form of our players.

    "Sri Lanka's problems in the approach to the tournament did not need vocalising. The IPL has laid them bare." Is Mr. Andrew for real ?? lol Our players have always excelled as an unit. And the other things is that these are entirely 2 different formats. Given the fact that none of our players hasn't done well in IPL at all since the IPL 1st edition, everything we have achieved must be a fluke, of course according to Mr. Andrew. The IPL is a paid vacation for our players. They've enjoyed their vacation now n will get back to work in a few days. :)

  • Narbavi on May 27, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @Ahgg : So you are questioning the writer's knowledge? let me ask you do you even know that its not 'slap bang' and its slam bang?

  • SL_Boy on May 27, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Gooood luck SL ... keep up the good work ...It is not bad they just finish good paid practice session in India

  • on May 27, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    All the Best Mathews !!! However Make us Proud !!! Joes <3

  • on May 27, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    all the best Mathews.......

  • Ahgg on May 27, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Does the writer know anything about cricket? Why can't people recognise that this is 50 cricket and ipl was only 20? Two totally different formats with no way of comparing "batting form" of slap bang with proper cricket. I will give one good example in the form of sanga. He was in UNBELEIVABLE form against Bangladesh scoring 3 hundreds and 2 fifties in the series, yet looked totally at sea in the ipl. I guess this due to the batsmen struggling to change his "test" mentality to slap bang. People will say they are professionals and they should be able to adopt but it's easier said than done. However my concern is the usual problem for sl batsmen in countries like England which is seam movement. If they can successfully negotiate that we will go a long way in to the tournament.

  • Charith99 on May 27, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    its a icc event so all the other countries are fighting to play the final with us and win i mean being runner up is already ours.

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  • Charith99 on May 27, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    its a icc event so all the other countries are fighting to play the final with us and win i mean being runner up is already ours.

  • Ahgg on May 27, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Does the writer know anything about cricket? Why can't people recognise that this is 50 cricket and ipl was only 20? Two totally different formats with no way of comparing "batting form" of slap bang with proper cricket. I will give one good example in the form of sanga. He was in UNBELEIVABLE form against Bangladesh scoring 3 hundreds and 2 fifties in the series, yet looked totally at sea in the ipl. I guess this due to the batsmen struggling to change his "test" mentality to slap bang. People will say they are professionals and they should be able to adopt but it's easier said than done. However my concern is the usual problem for sl batsmen in countries like England which is seam movement. If they can successfully negotiate that we will go a long way in to the tournament.

  • on May 27, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    all the best Mathews.......

  • on May 27, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    All the Best Mathews !!! However Make us Proud !!! Joes <3

  • SL_Boy on May 27, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Gooood luck SL ... keep up the good work ...It is not bad they just finish good paid practice session in India

  • Narbavi on May 27, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @Ahgg : So you are questioning the writer's knowledge? let me ask you do you even know that its not 'slap bang' and its slam bang?

  • Baseball-Sucks on May 27, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @ Ahgg ; Totally agree with you buddy. Its beyond insane to use some domestic Twenty20 competition as a yardstick to measure up the form of our players.

    "Sri Lanka's problems in the approach to the tournament did not need vocalising. The IPL has laid them bare." Is Mr. Andrew for real ?? lol Our players have always excelled as an unit. And the other things is that these are entirely 2 different formats. Given the fact that none of our players hasn't done well in IPL at all since the IPL 1st edition, everything we have achieved must be a fluke, of course according to Mr. Andrew. The IPL is a paid vacation for our players. They've enjoyed their vacation now n will get back to work in a few days. :)

  • Jinasoma on May 27, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Don't worry Andrew Fidel Fernando.IPL is a different format.Mathews is too good that bouncy conditions.Malinga,Sachithra,Thisara in good form.And we know how good Kula with his swing.And our Kusal is such a devastating batsman.Don't worry our players do well in international level than club level like IPL.

  • on May 27, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Sri lanka have great boys nice 15 member squad akk the best we want ICC Trophy

  • DilumSL on May 27, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Seriously how in the earth that IPL (Some domestic tournament) become the measurement of the form of players. I'm not saying that SL players at their peak. But we can't say players are out of form because of their bad performance in IPL. IPL is just another local tournament in India that involves money more than other tournament. Actually no need for words we will see what will happen to these IPL heroes when it comes to real cricket