Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Hambantota March 22, 2013

Sri Lanka need team effort for success in ODIs - Mathews


Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has called for strong collective performance, rather than reliance on key players, as he prepares to lead the team in his first ODI series as captain. Sri Lanka's 1-0 Test series win over Bangladesh was largely founded upon the efforts of Rangana Herath, who took 12 wickets in the Colombo Test, and Kumar Sangakkara, who averaged 110 in the series. Herath has been rested for the first two ODI matches, while Sangakkara has, in the past, not been the force that he is in Tests.

Sri Lanka, who are also missing Mahela Jayawardene due to a finger injury, have named an inexperienced squad featuring three uncapped players, while Sachithra Senanayake, who is the only specialist spinner in the squad has only played seven ODIs. Vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal has played 50 ODIs, but did not have a regular place in the side in 2012, and Kushal Janith Perera, who may be called upon to open the innings, is only in his second international series.

"Everyone has to play a big part in this team, for us to win," Mathews said on the eve of the first match. "Everyone has to contribute. We are not looking at the spinners or the seamers, we are looking at a collective effort. We have to realise that there's talent all through the squad and we're not after certain players who have to really perform. We are a very good unit and all 11 can perform on the day and win the series."

In the last year, Sri Lanka have used three allrounders in their limited-overs playing XI with moderate success, and Mathews hinted his side would persevere with that combination against Bangladesh. Thisara Perera has fulfilled the role of bowling allrounder for Sri Lanka, and Jeevan Mendis has largely been picked for his batting. Mathews meanwhile, sees himself as more of a genuine allrounder in the shorter formats. Sachith Pathirana is also an allrounder, and although Mathews said the team were excited about the prospect of new players being blooded in this series, he also spoke about the youth that has been embedded in the ODI side for some time.

"Looking at the one-day unit, we've had the same combination for a long time and most of the guys are young. We are missing Mahela Jayawardene due to injuries and, apart from Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, in the batting line-up we are all pretty young and growing as a team. As for the bowlers, Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara provide the experience there, and Sachithra Senanayake and Thisara Perera have also been playing some really good cricket in the recent past."

None of the Sri Lanka players have played competitive limited-overs cricket since the tour of Australia ended in late January, and given the packed schedule, will only have one training session to adjust to the shorter format. Mathews said learning to adapt quickly was part of the modern game, and was confident his side would change quickly into an ODI mindset.

"It's not easy, but we as players have to adjust to conditions and situations as soon as possible. That's our main target. We've played some really good cricket in the Test matches, and prior to that we had some good three-day games in domestic cricket. We haven't played much one-day cricket since the Australia tour, but we have to be ready as a team, and have to switch mentally as soon as possible."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tony on March 23, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @CRLShamalka please tell me how many test playing nations around the world would accept a player who has scored only 1 century in test cricket and averages 72 with the ball with 2/60 as his best figures in 33 tests? Darren Sammy and Mathews have played the same amount and Sammy has scored the same amount of centuries as Mathews but he has taken 4 five wicket hauls and is an attack team player. Yet Mathews keeps telling everyone that he is a 'batting allrounder'. Kallis and Flintoff are batting allrounders EVEN Mitchell Johnson is a better batsman than Mathews. I'd like to see him survive another family trip down under with his current form though he'll probably survive with this selection panel.

  • Lakpriya on March 23, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    @PAGLA_FAN_MELB it seems that you had not followed the Aus tour properly. Sanga played in the first 2 tests. After that he didn't even play in the ODI series. SL drew it and if not for that brain freezed washout decision from the officials SL could have won the series. And won the T20s as well. So even if Sanga was there it would not have made a big difference. If you think that your youngsters will improve in 5 years. so can the youngsters of other teams as well. Sanga and Mahela will be there for 3 or so years. so by the time they go all these young SL players will be well established. It is so funny that most Bangladesh fans are willing to wait even 100 games till their youngsters improve and could not wait 30 games till the youngsters of other teams improve.

  • Shamalka on March 23, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    @shanepe2003: I'm now quite confident that you come to cricinfo only to comment against Mathews but anything else. This is what you've been doing for the past so many months and you're continuing to do so. You once told that Mathews will become SL Test or ODI captain only in his dreams but now that reality has come true. Nothing you said against Mathews has prospered so far and it will be the same in the future too. Either you're really not following the game or either you simply have a hidden agenda to sling mud at Mathews for the reasons only knows by you. The real fans who have followed the game for the past few years know that it's none other than Mathews has won us games single handedly in most occasions. After all your empty comments will have no effect against Mathews or SL teams

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    I dont know what this BD fans saying.. always saying they have good young talanted guys and they will success in next 5 years.. you guys are saying this from 2005. ha ha.. Lets see. BD dont have guts to play with sri lanka.

  • PAGLAA on March 23, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    WITHOUT Sanga SL is nothing; that had been proved in Aus tour.I would say they are an avg. team. Whearas, Tiger BD team is full of talent and in next 5 years they will rule the cricket world - if there is a proper guidence. Angelo is the most under per captain comparing to other teams. SL does not have GREAT allrounder like Shakib, Mendis was one time wonder, aand all the senior players are leaving soon.. so whats left??

  • Ziggy on March 23, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    i hate how everyone is saying SL is a young side. before last test series sohag played 2 tests, abul played 1 , anamul and mominul were on debut, nasir played 6, robiul played 5. SL side however got all the talk from media and commentators in the series that they had a young side, making an excuse if you had somehow lost(probably wouldn't have, but there was a chance). our team was also young, but all i want to say is that the media had diverted it all to SL when BD were also severely depleted of experience, as seen when the only difference of the two sides were the amazing rangana herath and kumar sangakarra.this ODI series, BOTH teams (not just SL) are missing players, notably jayawardene and sakib, but the diffrence could once again be sanga and this time malinga. but we have razzak, one of the best ODIi bowlers in the world(check rankings) and tamim(if he fires) and can be much more competitive.

  • Raj on March 23, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    I am looking forward to BD fans comments after they lose this ODI series. I think most BD fans live in an alternative reality.I hope this series will make them all realise that their team is not as good as what they think it is..As a neutral observer , I can say that SL is a much better ODI team than BD and I expect them to win 3-0.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    I am sure Mathews will do the job very well provided injury free in ODI's for Sri lanka but I must say he is not a test player his style of playing suits only shorter formats and every one should understand and accept that....

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Sri Lanka should win the series 3-0 although the team is full of new players, a very young squad. good for the future

  • samith on March 22, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    Some funny comments poring down from BD fans.yes ur team is good .Yet when u put up with SL ODI squad they r ordinary..If u saw how they played with the aussies 2 months a go in australia,BD has no lace with this SL squad.they filled with ODI specialists.Malinga,thisara kula all the lethal in the ODI format.Plus watch out for Kusal Janith..YES SANA IS BACK :)

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