Australia v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval June 15, 2013

Jayawardene praise for Mathews' captaincy

31

There are few better experts on captaincy in Sri Lanka than Mahela Jayawardene, who was so well-respected in the role that the selectors effectively forced a second stint upon him.

In his first four years in the job, Sri Lanka enjoyed a period defined as much by the allure of their cricket as their success in Tests and ODIs. Test series victories over India, England and South Africa (the 2006 loss remains their last defeat away from home), an Asia Cup title and an impressive 2007 World Cup campaign were among his achievements as a leader, and Sri Lanka rose to No. 2 in the world rankings across all formats soon after his initial resignation.

Late last year, Jayawardene announced he would not captain Sri Lanka beyond the year-end tour of Australia, because it was time for Sri Lanka to produce a young leader while he and the other seniors remained in the team to provide guidance. Angelo Mathews has long been the heir for Sri Lanka, and he took over the ODI and Test captaincy in February.

Mathews has the unreserved support of both seniors and the younger group in his side, and his nerveless temperament in high-pressure situations had made his leadership potential plain early in his career. He has only played five ODIs since taking the reins but, as Sri Lanka attempt to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy, Jayawardene emphasised the importance for Mathews to be among the runs and wickets, even as he learns the art of leadership at the top level.

"The most important thing is that Angie contributes as a player, which I've told him as well," Jayawardene said. "He's a part of the XI, so it's not just about him as a captain - that's a secondary thing that will naturally come to him when he is making calls around the field. There are a few senior heads out there as well, who can help him with that."

Mathews had had mixed results as captain before arriving in England. Bangladesh drew their first-ever Test against Sri Lanka on a flat pitch in Galle under Mathews' watch, before winning their first-ever ODI on Sri Lankan soil, to draw the one-day series. Mathews had captained his side to a 2-0 Twenty20 victory in Australia in January, but the Twenty20 captaincy has since been handed to Dinesh Chandimal in the February leadership shake-up.

He has seemingly grown more confident in his role during the Champions Trophy. He failed with the bat, and did not bowl in the loss to New Zealand, but marshalled his side with assurance in the field, as they almost defended 138. A leadership decision to promote Nuwan Kulasekara to No. 5 then paid dividends in the win against England on Thursday.

"He looked pretty good, the way he handled the New Zealand game and the England game on the field," Jayawardene said. "He's not rattled by tough situations and every game that he plays, he enjoys his captaincy. He's not trying to think too far ahead of himself and he's handing situations in the moment. That's the best way to go about it, because there's less pressure that way. He's gaining experience, so we just need to help him out. So far, everything looks pretty decent.

"I'm sure we would have got a lot of criticism if the decision to promote Kule didn't work, but that's how the game goes and it worked for us."

Jayawardene also played a key role in Thursday's victory, linking Sri Lanka's secure start with their final flourish with a brisk 42. Before the tournament began, he had not played international cricket since January, due to a fractured finger, but appears to be finding form as the pointy end of the tournament approaches. In past campaigns, Jayawardene has been Sri Lanka's big-match performer, having hit a World Cup final hundred as well as a semi-final ton. He also top-scored in last year's World Twenty20 semi-final in Colombo.

"It was very good to get on track and to be contributing like that because that's what the team wants from me," he said of the innings against England. "The finger is looking pretty good. A few hits here and there it swells up a bit, but other than that it's pretty good. It was a good knock in the middle. I wish I could have finished the game off with Kumar, but hopefully I can do that in the next game."

Sri Lanka play a virtual quarter-final against Australia on Monday, and Jayawardene said Sri Lanka's recent success against Australia will provide a psychological edge for them. In the last 10 ODIs between the teams - all of which were played in Australia - Sri Lanka have won 6. They drew the ODI series 2-2 earlier this year, but were favourites to win the fourth ODI in Sydney before 45 minutes of drizzle rendered the SCG playing area unusable in the eyes of the match officials.

"I think in the last two years or so we've been very consistent against Australia and we've played them very well. We managed to handle a lot of situations better than them, so hopefully we can continue that. That said, in a tournament like this, things are different. We need to play to our strengths like we did in the England match."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 16, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    I feel Mathews, Chandimal and Thirimanne will have to gradually move up to batting positions 3,4, and 5. This should be done soon after the Champions trophy. All three needs experience at the top and A level delivered at these positions against top opposition. Mathews has done very well at number 4 for A team and provisional level. Also Dimuth should get an openers slot in test and one day. With Kusal he will be the next generation.Angelo Perera is the other youngster the world does not know. These 6 batters with many others pushing them should be the neucleus of SL batting for the next decade. in bowling Eranga with guidance should blossom into the next Malinga.

  • miles100 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Great article which is encouraging for Angelo. Captaining a team especially a national side is not an easy job at all. Critics are everywhere. A good captain could make all the right moves and get badly criticized by some fans for months for a little mistake he may have made. Arjuna, Angelo, Mahela and Sanga are all good captains. However out of all of them my money is on Angelo in 2 years including his test captaincy. We have to give this kid at least another good 2 years before anyone criticizes him already. Angelo knows what he is doing.

  • ThyrSaadam on June 17, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Well, concept of captain and coaches in cricket is over analysed, it is really down to the players and hitting form, and making it count. Question really should be if Matthews could walk into the team as a player. The author, and Mahela think so, but i would like to challenge that. Matthews just seems to fall short of a good finisher as he comes down lower in the batting order, neither is he going to give any opposition batting sleepless nights.

  • MadhushaDmendis on June 17, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    mathews should play more as a batsman ..our middle order is sometimes get seriously weak .. . then he can push whole batting to a good position...We have fine aspects of bowlers....

  • SL.Charith on June 17, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    Angalo is a good player if he has his believe in him self. Mostly what he do is scoring more dot balls to establish him self and get out in a crucial situation with stupid shots (Ex: T20 World Cup Final). He need to improve a lot! He has to believe him self. If he can be a player who played in SLPL Final (73* 27 Balls 8x4, 4x6) It will be great. He is a great fielder too. But.. Go and watch domestic matches in Sri Lanka.. How many talented youngsters waiting for their chances ? I can't find any recent reasonable contribution behalf of team by batting or bowling. His captaincy isn't that great what we would've expected to be in a world class team. Im serious, we love cricket and our nation, but we can't walk without cloths? so we better talk the reality. Just think a bit. I wish him a good luck & "cricket without politics" in Sri Lanka. Take a look at this.. This is not a learning academy, It's world class team, yes! I accept there should be a chance to young Angelo, I think mostly he s

  • satishchandar on June 17, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    As far as i consider this CLT20 alone, Angelo's captaincy for the 2 games was excellent.. First game, he bowled Dilshan ahead of himself when lefite was batting and got rewards and used Malinga to great level to bring him back to good rhythm.. Second game, picked another man in front of himself while batting and it proved a masterstroke again.. The handling of bowlers was good and field settings was decent as well..

    If Mathews can improve his own cricketing form a bit more, he can be there for more time to come..

  • MilroyL.S.A.Don on June 17, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Hey come on...stop making negative comments about Matthews and suggest a good replacement for him?? or bring Jayauriya back!!!!

  • C0l0mb0 on June 17, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I like to see good for nothing Mathews, thirimanne n Chandimal on the bench. But my other options r not in da squad. So, Like to see Kaushal, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Mendis, Mathews, Thisara, Kulasekara, Sachithra, Herath, Malinga. it would be great if Kaushal and thisara can bat between 30-50 overs..:)

  • stormy16 on June 16, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Its early days to make any judgements on Mathews as a captain after 5 games but he needs to make useful contirbutions with bat or ball or both. Its alot to handle trying to get his game right along with his captaincy, where most captains are usually well established in the side before getting the captaincy. Mathews has been around for a while without really putting up too many big performances which is a concern. He is consodered a finisher of sorts but those opportunities dont come along regularly. The main role is to be a reliable batter whcih I think he is yet to establish.

  • on June 16, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Lets hope Sri Lanka will not self destruct against the Aussies on monday. The seniors should take responsibility on themselves and not leave it to the new comers to bail them out . Knowing the Aussies they will come hard at SL both verbally and physically and try to cow them out, to which SL should retort in kind and not take one backward step.

  • on June 16, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    I feel Mathews, Chandimal and Thirimanne will have to gradually move up to batting positions 3,4, and 5. This should be done soon after the Champions trophy. All three needs experience at the top and A level delivered at these positions against top opposition. Mathews has done very well at number 4 for A team and provisional level. Also Dimuth should get an openers slot in test and one day. With Kusal he will be the next generation.Angelo Perera is the other youngster the world does not know. These 6 batters with many others pushing them should be the neucleus of SL batting for the next decade. in bowling Eranga with guidance should blossom into the next Malinga.

  • miles100 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Great article which is encouraging for Angelo. Captaining a team especially a national side is not an easy job at all. Critics are everywhere. A good captain could make all the right moves and get badly criticized by some fans for months for a little mistake he may have made. Arjuna, Angelo, Mahela and Sanga are all good captains. However out of all of them my money is on Angelo in 2 years including his test captaincy. We have to give this kid at least another good 2 years before anyone criticizes him already. Angelo knows what he is doing.

  • ThyrSaadam on June 17, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Well, concept of captain and coaches in cricket is over analysed, it is really down to the players and hitting form, and making it count. Question really should be if Matthews could walk into the team as a player. The author, and Mahela think so, but i would like to challenge that. Matthews just seems to fall short of a good finisher as he comes down lower in the batting order, neither is he going to give any opposition batting sleepless nights.

  • MadhushaDmendis on June 17, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    mathews should play more as a batsman ..our middle order is sometimes get seriously weak .. . then he can push whole batting to a good position...We have fine aspects of bowlers....

  • SL.Charith on June 17, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    Angalo is a good player if he has his believe in him self. Mostly what he do is scoring more dot balls to establish him self and get out in a crucial situation with stupid shots (Ex: T20 World Cup Final). He need to improve a lot! He has to believe him self. If he can be a player who played in SLPL Final (73* 27 Balls 8x4, 4x6) It will be great. He is a great fielder too. But.. Go and watch domestic matches in Sri Lanka.. How many talented youngsters waiting for their chances ? I can't find any recent reasonable contribution behalf of team by batting or bowling. His captaincy isn't that great what we would've expected to be in a world class team. Im serious, we love cricket and our nation, but we can't walk without cloths? so we better talk the reality. Just think a bit. I wish him a good luck & "cricket without politics" in Sri Lanka. Take a look at this.. This is not a learning academy, It's world class team, yes! I accept there should be a chance to young Angelo, I think mostly he s

  • satishchandar on June 17, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    As far as i consider this CLT20 alone, Angelo's captaincy for the 2 games was excellent.. First game, he bowled Dilshan ahead of himself when lefite was batting and got rewards and used Malinga to great level to bring him back to good rhythm.. Second game, picked another man in front of himself while batting and it proved a masterstroke again.. The handling of bowlers was good and field settings was decent as well..

    If Mathews can improve his own cricketing form a bit more, he can be there for more time to come..

  • MilroyL.S.A.Don on June 17, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Hey come on...stop making negative comments about Matthews and suggest a good replacement for him?? or bring Jayauriya back!!!!

  • C0l0mb0 on June 17, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I like to see good for nothing Mathews, thirimanne n Chandimal on the bench. But my other options r not in da squad. So, Like to see Kaushal, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Mendis, Mathews, Thisara, Kulasekara, Sachithra, Herath, Malinga. it would be great if Kaushal and thisara can bat between 30-50 overs..:)

  • stormy16 on June 16, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Its early days to make any judgements on Mathews as a captain after 5 games but he needs to make useful contirbutions with bat or ball or both. Its alot to handle trying to get his game right along with his captaincy, where most captains are usually well established in the side before getting the captaincy. Mathews has been around for a while without really putting up too many big performances which is a concern. He is consodered a finisher of sorts but those opportunities dont come along regularly. The main role is to be a reliable batter whcih I think he is yet to establish.

  • on June 16, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Lets hope Sri Lanka will not self destruct against the Aussies on monday. The seniors should take responsibility on themselves and not leave it to the new comers to bail them out . Knowing the Aussies they will come hard at SL both verbally and physically and try to cow them out, to which SL should retort in kind and not take one backward step.

  • Metro-ant on June 16, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Has Mathews justified his place in the side? Of course not! All those saying he is young give him a break are forgetting that there are plenty of other young talented players fighting for a spot he is occupying. 4-5 years ago when A.B. De Villiers was 24, he put on one of the best ever test partnerships with JP Duminy to win against the Aussies in a world record chase. Meanwhile Mathews makes a meal out of scoring centuries (last century in 2011) compared to his peers who are years ahead of him in terms of maturity at the crease, ability to face the short ball and his batting technique facing swing bowlers. They criticised Sammy for not contributing to the team but look at that quickfire 50 he scored in the champion's trophy, when will we see at least that side of Mathews, or will it just be like a Watson who'll fail to convert 50's into centuries his whole career...

  • on June 16, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    As a Cricket Lover, i think Mathews Batting is not going good due to Captaincy and Bowling.. He should focus on his Batting at this point of time and stay away from bowling till he gets his form.. It will help him as well as team also.. As a captain, he is new and needs some time to groom.. All the best for him..

  • yorkslanka on June 16, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Amazed at how much negativity about Mathews there is from our own fans(expected from others). The guy is young so give h&m a break,put it this way, he ,ay have made a few mistakes but if Mahela inks he is doing a good job, I am sure he knows more about captaining than most others on here..support Mathews and he will come good. No captain, ever starts off as a great, they evolve..as for his form, this is understandable,anyone who has played the game and has captained knows its not an easy job..good luck Angelo and Sri Lanka. Great move to pro toe Kula by the way !!!

  • Ahgg on June 16, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    From what I have seen Sao far from Matthews the captain is defensive tactics and a over reliance on seniors. He lacks the ability to read situations such as giving crucial overs to reputed bowlers than the best bowler "on the day" no matter how many runs that bowler has conceded, giving easy singles to new batsmen an not applying enough pressure, not identifying a batsmans strengths (eg: not having enough close in fielders early on for cook and trott who are not known to go over the top). I really hope he will learn these tactics and prove me wrong but if not sl will be very inconsistent in winning. Also captaincy seem to hinder his performances as well. I feel chandimal is a better captain than Matthews from the little I have seen him captaining sl.

  • Nuwan_R on June 16, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Only criticism of Angelo is he is not performing. He is getting carried because he is captain. This is going to be a big problem if he doesn't start contributing.

    There are better bowlers or batsmen waiting in the benches if he isn't going to start performing.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 16, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    My Team against Aussie: Kushal, DIlshan, Sanga, Mahela, Angelo, Mendis, Kula, Thissara, Sachitha, Herath, Malinga. This team have 8 Batsmen, 4 fast bowlers, and 4 spinners. This team can definitely beat Aussie.

  • Ruban_Varathan on June 16, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    SL cricketers are real fighters in cricket...As Nasser Hossain said, they are real street fighters...they wont give opposition an easy walk to victory....Even though they lose they fight hard....such a nice attitude i like in srilankan players...ALL the very best to srilanka...

  • on June 16, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    I think for captaincy Thisara perera would be better than Mathews .

  • owlseye on June 16, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    It is alright to have Mathews as captain, yet I feel it has become a burden to his batting skills. He had been a prolific run getter prior to his captaincy and now no where near where he was. I suggest another proposition in this regard..till someday the Sri Lankan team get into winning streamline... why not handover the captaincy to a senior bowling colleague as usually what Pakistan and India did at times? We have Heath who has experience in county matches as well.Perhaps Kulasekere? Then the burden will be eased from Mathews till he recovers, besides a bowler will always be warmed up with a captaincy. Speaking English is the concern? get examples from Pakistan and Bangladesh or forget about wnning matches. Vass, Murali were never offered with captaincy.. Should he be a batsman to become a captain in Sri Lanka?

  • on June 16, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    The thing i've seen with SL leadership in all formats in recent years is that they hardly trust their part time spinners. Dilshan is a handy spinner and mendis can spin too, but it seems they don't use their spinners even when the conditions are helpful. SL has become upbeat about fast bowling which was lacking in the past, and has forgotten the importance of part time spinners to dry up runs. On the other hand India is using them very well by utilizing players like Jadeja.

  • on June 16, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Someone might blame Mathews for not bowling a single over in NZ match, but that's a great taken by the captain mathews for the good of the team. If you look at methews bowling role he tries to contain the opposition rather than being a strike bowler. Since the target was below par, taking wickets was the only way to win which meant the more Malinga Eranga Herath bowl, higher were the chances of winning.

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    consistent Spinners in the Domestic Cricket together with S'nayake, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dulanjana Mendis, so with the retirement of Murali the J&Ps preferred an henchmen in his place, that they have been trying since 1999. It is a heinous crime to prevent a quality tall proven bowlers like S'nayake & Ajantha from playing on these wkts in England. The officials want to carry on with these seniors till the next WC, that is why they have renewed their contract by another 3 years, whereas they should have been dropped, in neglecting the promising youngsters and the Future of Cricket in the Country. The number of tournaments being held for the year too has been reduced. SLan youngsters are the most underpaid Cricketers among all the Test Playing Countries; as a result they lose interest of the Game soon after leaving school, A very good example for this is Bhanuka Rajapaksha the Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2010 and 2011 and also one of the 3 best batters in Youth WC 2010

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    M'ela by far the best after M'galle to lead the Country since achieving Test status, Though some regarded as Arjuna as the best, totally due to our WC win. 50% of that Credit should go to the SLan-born Aus coach that in-built confidence in our quality batters the class of Aravinda, Hashan & Mahanama who were always capable of playing a chance-less innings at any stage. It was due to these 3 solid batters and the decent bowling attack we have had at the time, instrumental in winning the Cup. Though Attapattu was the best bat at the time, wasn't given a chance to perform because the Captain (if he was a such a leader he should have had done the same in 1999 as well) always preferred reckless risky batting which was a complete flop apart from 2 occasions in that Tournament. Incidentally, Ajantha has been sensational under M'ela winning the ICC's Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2008, however the J&Ps didn't want him in the Team though he is one of the outstanding 2 B CNTD

  • TrueLankan on June 16, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Matthews indeed needs to contribute to the 11. He is in the team as an all rounder and so needs to bowl often. My opinion is that he needs to open with Kulasekera so Malinga can bowl at the death overs where he is dangerous. So far I am not impressed and even afraid that Matthews will not live up to expectations.

  • lakshan_king on June 16, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Mathews is a Not a Good Captain so i think we need to look a new captain or give it to sanga, then we should try new one. mathews doesnt have a place in the team how should we miss out thisara perera as a one day game last 2 years is the Leading ODI wicket taker for Sri lanka so i think it should thisara Replacing for mathews is the correct way to do, &

  • Tal_Botvinnik on June 16, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    I agree, Mathews sometimes looks tactically defensive as a captain, but he seems to motivate and bring out the fighting spirit in the team. Batting is good, but not consistent enough. sometimes playing wild shots or unnecessary ones.Bowling wise he need to be more accurate and probing.

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    What seniors should do is to give him is his most deserving batting position. M'hews 1st ClaAve 50, Ch'mal 1st ClaAve 58 should bat at 3-4 positions. None of the seniors in the Team had this kind of brilliant School & Domestic Careers as youngsters. In their short Careers at International level they have hardly got a chance to prove their worth when the wkt is flat and good for batting though they've always performed well when the seniors were perished on good pitches when conditions were difficult for batting in ENG,SA,& AUS. Even performances of some seniors on pitches in Countries like IND, ZIM & B'desh aren't praiseworthy. 3 senior bats (in late 30s)& the L-arm leggie(5th-day Bowler that can't spin & take wkts unless the batter is in attacking mood) aren't needed at this level with their inconsistent performances as there are enough proven promising players in the Country to replace them. We badly need some intelligent officials with free hands to handle things at this top level.

  • ClownBOY on June 16, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    It's true that Angie should get some more matches to mature and gain experience in captaincy....but being the heir to captaincy people were waiting to see more Mathews magic through his captaincy....with 5 good seniors,Kusal coming in and Mathews being a calm head in presure moments,Chandi, Thiri and TP in the middle order looking promising fans thought that SL brand of cricket is back...fans wanted to see a team like '96...eventhough current team didn't lose so badly recently, when fans saw how the team did in BD series they thought 'it should be Mathew's fault..if not,how come this team lose ODI to BD'....when you expect so much ,slight downfall could cause huge dissapointment....Angie we want you to win...even when you lose show what a good fighter you are....ROAR P.S-plz don't give easy singles in the field and be careful with those bowling changes

  • MH19 on June 15, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Nice article very encouraging to read and as Cricket loving public of SL we also get motivated to see actions of this nature. Angelo should count him self very lucky to have Mahela the most respected Captain in SL next to Ranatunga and also Legendry Sanga,Dilshan to guide him.As mahela very correctly said Angelo should focus on his batting and bowling so the 3 seniors can assist him on his leadership when he is action.I hope Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan will make Mathews a World class Captain with results oriented and to keep our Countrys cricket on the right path in the future.Good luck guys for monday if you play to your potential we will be in semis.

  • on June 15, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    If the weather keeps fine we are in for a tough match. Please do not talk of the past players you do not do justice to the present players.

  • on June 15, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    As far as Mathews captaincy , He is still Learning alot & If SL make it to the Semi's Then Signs For SL & Mathews as Captain Will Look Bright! As Far As Batting is Concern He Should constantly Score For His side & Play the Role Of a Finisher ... Should See His Team through till the end of 50 Overs

    Totally Agree , SL Has The Edge and Momentum with them to go forward against the Aus .. Aus are without Warner & Clark who is uncertain .. & No More Mike Hussey Who used To Milk SL .. But SL Should Play tr Strengto Theihs & can go with 2 Spinners , Thisara & Senanayakke Should Play , Eranga Should be Rested

  • on June 15, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    As far as Mathews captaincy , He is still Learning alot & If SL make it to the Semi's Then Signs For SL & Mathews as Captain Will Look Bright! As Far As Batting is Concern He Should constantly Score For His side & Play the Role Of a Finisher ... Should See His Team through till the end of 50 Overs

    Totally Agree , SL Has The Edge and Momentum with them to go forward against the Aus .. Aus are without Warner & Clark who is uncertain .. & No More Mike Hussey Who used To Milk SL .. But SL Should Play tr Strengto Theihs & can go with 2 Spinners , Thisara & Senanayakke Should Play , Eranga Should be Rested

  • on June 15, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    If the weather keeps fine we are in for a tough match. Please do not talk of the past players you do not do justice to the present players.

  • MH19 on June 15, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Nice article very encouraging to read and as Cricket loving public of SL we also get motivated to see actions of this nature. Angelo should count him self very lucky to have Mahela the most respected Captain in SL next to Ranatunga and also Legendry Sanga,Dilshan to guide him.As mahela very correctly said Angelo should focus on his batting and bowling so the 3 seniors can assist him on his leadership when he is action.I hope Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan will make Mathews a World class Captain with results oriented and to keep our Countrys cricket on the right path in the future.Good luck guys for monday if you play to your potential we will be in semis.

  • ClownBOY on June 16, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    It's true that Angie should get some more matches to mature and gain experience in captaincy....but being the heir to captaincy people were waiting to see more Mathews magic through his captaincy....with 5 good seniors,Kusal coming in and Mathews being a calm head in presure moments,Chandi, Thiri and TP in the middle order looking promising fans thought that SL brand of cricket is back...fans wanted to see a team like '96...eventhough current team didn't lose so badly recently, when fans saw how the team did in BD series they thought 'it should be Mathew's fault..if not,how come this team lose ODI to BD'....when you expect so much ,slight downfall could cause huge dissapointment....Angie we want you to win...even when you lose show what a good fighter you are....ROAR P.S-plz don't give easy singles in the field and be careful with those bowling changes

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    What seniors should do is to give him is his most deserving batting position. M'hews 1st ClaAve 50, Ch'mal 1st ClaAve 58 should bat at 3-4 positions. None of the seniors in the Team had this kind of brilliant School & Domestic Careers as youngsters. In their short Careers at International level they have hardly got a chance to prove their worth when the wkt is flat and good for batting though they've always performed well when the seniors were perished on good pitches when conditions were difficult for batting in ENG,SA,& AUS. Even performances of some seniors on pitches in Countries like IND, ZIM & B'desh aren't praiseworthy. 3 senior bats (in late 30s)& the L-arm leggie(5th-day Bowler that can't spin & take wkts unless the batter is in attacking mood) aren't needed at this level with their inconsistent performances as there are enough proven promising players in the Country to replace them. We badly need some intelligent officials with free hands to handle things at this top level.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on June 16, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    I agree, Mathews sometimes looks tactically defensive as a captain, but he seems to motivate and bring out the fighting spirit in the team. Batting is good, but not consistent enough. sometimes playing wild shots or unnecessary ones.Bowling wise he need to be more accurate and probing.

  • lakshan_king on June 16, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Mathews is a Not a Good Captain so i think we need to look a new captain or give it to sanga, then we should try new one. mathews doesnt have a place in the team how should we miss out thisara perera as a one day game last 2 years is the Leading ODI wicket taker for Sri lanka so i think it should thisara Replacing for mathews is the correct way to do, &

  • TrueLankan on June 16, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Matthews indeed needs to contribute to the 11. He is in the team as an all rounder and so needs to bowl often. My opinion is that he needs to open with Kulasekera so Malinga can bowl at the death overs where he is dangerous. So far I am not impressed and even afraid that Matthews will not live up to expectations.

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    M'ela by far the best after M'galle to lead the Country since achieving Test status, Though some regarded as Arjuna as the best, totally due to our WC win. 50% of that Credit should go to the SLan-born Aus coach that in-built confidence in our quality batters the class of Aravinda, Hashan & Mahanama who were always capable of playing a chance-less innings at any stage. It was due to these 3 solid batters and the decent bowling attack we have had at the time, instrumental in winning the Cup. Though Attapattu was the best bat at the time, wasn't given a chance to perform because the Captain (if he was a such a leader he should have had done the same in 1999 as well) always preferred reckless risky batting which was a complete flop apart from 2 occasions in that Tournament. Incidentally, Ajantha has been sensational under M'ela winning the ICC's Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2008, however the J&Ps didn't want him in the Team though he is one of the outstanding 2 B CNTD

  • Prem2248 on June 16, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    consistent Spinners in the Domestic Cricket together with S'nayake, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dulanjana Mendis, so with the retirement of Murali the J&Ps preferred an henchmen in his place, that they have been trying since 1999. It is a heinous crime to prevent a quality tall proven bowlers like S'nayake & Ajantha from playing on these wkts in England. The officials want to carry on with these seniors till the next WC, that is why they have renewed their contract by another 3 years, whereas they should have been dropped, in neglecting the promising youngsters and the Future of Cricket in the Country. The number of tournaments being held for the year too has been reduced. SLan youngsters are the most underpaid Cricketers among all the Test Playing Countries; as a result they lose interest of the Game soon after leaving school, A very good example for this is Bhanuka Rajapaksha the Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2010 and 2011 and also one of the 3 best batters in Youth WC 2010