Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 2nd day March 17, 2013

Struggling Mathews coming under pressure

Angelo Mathews has an unconvincing Test record so far and the success of Dinesh Chandimal and other younger players is threatening to usurp him
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In an ODI at Lords in 2011, vice-captain Angelo Mathews joined Dinesh Chandimal at the crease with 17 runs needed for victory and 13 for Chandimal to make a memorable hundred in his sixth innings. His words to Chandimal changed the young batsman's outlook and provided the period of play for which that match is remembered. "You go for your hundred, Chandi," Mathews said. "I'll hold one end up. We've got almost eight overs and I am confident I can finish this myself." So with his side on the cusp of victory, Mathews blocked out 20 of his 21 balls, to allow his partner the runs to pass the milestone.

Chandimal does not well remember the furious expression captain Tillakaratne Dilshan wore on the balcony as the young men pursued individual glory, and says not much was made of their hijinks after the win. Perhaps the seniors felt no harm was done and that as the batsmen matured, they would learn never to risk the team's wellbeing. Mathews and Chandimal are captain and vice-captain now. Both men have grown as cricketers, but not at the same rate. Their innings on day two in Colombo makes that difference plain.

For Mathews, his 16 from 38 was another of those frustratingly brief innings in which he had seemed to bed himself in, before a moment of misjudgement consumed him to leave a strong foundation unused. The slider to dismiss him from Sohag Gazi was a fine one, but you get good balls in Test cricket. The mark of a good batsman is to see those out. The 37 balls prior had given every indication that Mathews would help haul Sri Lanka into safety alongside Kumar Sangakkara, but as comfortable as he seemed, Sri Lanka fans have learnt not to make much of Mathews' starts. At 25, he is quickly nearing on a career's-full of wasted opportunities.

His demise brought Chandimal to the crease with Sri Lanka at 69 for 4, teetering on the slope to a first-innings deficit. Like Mathews, Chandimal set about settling himself in - nervily to begin with, but eventually he pieced his defence together and made his judgement precise. Until a back-of-a-length ball from Rubel Hossain skidded beneath his bat to rattle off stump, the bowlers rarely scored a psychological victory against him. When he departed, Sri Lanka had passed the visitors' total and were headed for a healthy lead of their own.

In 12 Test innings, Chandimal has crossed 50 six times. Mathews meanwhile, has only hit fifty 12 times in 53 attempts

Chandimal's 102 was particularly encouraging for its composition. Like Mathews, he has in the past made a large percentage of his runs in fours, and as such neglected to rotate the strike effectively, like the more seasoned hands in the team are wont to do. At the Premadasa, he was denied his heavy reliance on boundaries by an outfield so lush, fielders in the deep were in danger of coming across wild Pokémon.

So he retooled his approach, and batted as he rarely has at the top level, in any format. Gaps were mined thoughtfully, and the rapid swishes shelved. Chandimal might hit the fielder once or twice but he persisted with the shot and the strategy until it pulled in his favour. Soon he was working the field with as much ease as the great at the other end who has marked his return from a two-month injury layoff with three consecutive hundreds. Chandimal's first, stuttering fifty came from 97 deliveries. His second, from an unfussy 72. He has played sparkling innings outside Asia but struggled vexingly at home. During his hundred, the sparse crowd at the Premadasa beheld a batsman improving mid-innings, before their eyes.

"My first tour was the World Twenty20 in the West Indies and since then I played about a year and a half away from home. During that time I wasn't able to train for Sri Lankan conditions as much," Chandimal said of his lean stretch at home. "I was inexperienced then as well and didn't quite understand things. Only recently have I had a chance to play a bit more in the subcontinent. There was a failing on my part as well, because I need to learn to adjust quickly, but now I'm training hard with Marvan Atapattu and I feel I've rectified that. I hope in the future I'm confident I can play well at home, so that the team can do well."

In 12 Test innings, Chandimal has crossed 50 six times. Two of those knocks came against South Africa on debut in Durban, where he helped a senior batsman hold the innings together in each dig. Sri Lanka's biggest Test win in recent years was his reward. The other away half-century came in the New Year's Test this year, when he batted alongside the tail in the second innings and remained unbeaten to give his side a small hope of victory, though it never came. Mathews meanwhile, has only hit fifty 12 times in 53 attempts - 23% of his innings, as opposed to Chandimal's 50%. Mathews also bowls, unsuccessfully so far in Tests, but Chandimal has kept in five of his seven Tests, and performed his second skill almost as impressively as his first.

As Lahiru Thirimanne also begins to grow in stature with the bat, Mathews is in danger of being leapfrogged by two younger, newer batsmen in the side. He was groomed for the captaincy for almost two years, and if he is to avoid being usurped by men whose education has come more swiftly, he must quickly begin amending an unconvincing record.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 20, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    We have come to expect a lot of Angelo Mathews because we all know he is a quality player in all formats. There is no doubt of Angelo's talent. He is as talented a player as u get around these days. I think its a matter of time till we see Mathews really showcasing his true potential. Once he settles to captaincy and takes control of the team fully, i think u will see the real Angelo Mathews come to light. GOOD LUCK MATHEWS. Hope u can take us to number one and hope u can smash hundreds and win many games for SL!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    It is very obvious now that Mathews is never going to be a wicket taking option in test cricket even under helpful conditions. So he needs to start contributing with the bat more. He needs to get occasional big hundred and bat for long periods. He is occupying a top middle order position at No. 5 and therefore has ample opportunity to do that. He simply has to think of himself as a pure batsman not an all-rounder. Thirimanne and Karunaratne also need to start scoring big on a consistent basis. The remaining three seniors will not be around for long. An occasional big score or hundred on a batting paradise against a mediocre bowling attack will not be sufficient. All three of them need to learn to adjust according to situation and the wicket. Otherwise once the seniors are gone we will have a barren run in test cricket just like what happened after Murali's retirement.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    For all the Mathews bashers, just go to cricinfo statsguru and do a search for Sri Lanka in test matches against all oppositions from 1 March 2011 to 1 March 2013 and see who leads the batting averages. It is obviously Sanga who is the best test batsman around. The next is the guy you are trying to bash, Angelo Mathews. He has been SL's no 2 batsman for 2 years, ahead of all other so called seniors. I rest my case Andrew and his click of Angelo bashers. Also Angelo was not out in 9 of his 53 test innings. In many he was the last man out. He has only one century ? He has two nineties ie 99 and 95. I am sure he will improve on this.

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | March 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Angelo should bat at No 4 not at six or 5.He has a avg of 50 batting there as evidenced with his avg of 50.00 in the domestic. Chandimal a great talent should bat at 3.

    Shehan Jayasuriya looks a better replacement for dilshan because of his consistancy Munaweera lacks patience

  • POSTED BY Palitha-Ferdinands on | March 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Having read the full article, I am bit confused as the headline does not seem to match with the content of the article.

  • POSTED BY Metro-ant on | March 18, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    This is a great article and I'm still laughing at the comment suggesting it is inappropriate to comment about Mathews during a test match. Kieron Pollard has scored more centuries than Mathews in ODI cricket which isn't hard because Mathews has scored none. Yet despite only averaging 40 with the bat with one century, I'm sure if Murali Vijay takes the ferry to Jaffna he would be able to put pressure on Mathews for the captaincy. I know us Sri Lankans always give the excuse for Mathews that he is the 'finisher', really? Is it really good enough to give the test captaincy to someone who averages 72 with the ball and has scored 1 century to call him the 'finisher'? Are we really that short of players?

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | March 18, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    A lot of fans and Andrew suggest that Mathews must improve his batting and start showing solid results instead of cameos. As for his bowling - well we all know! What if all we see is what we get, and there is never going to be any improvement? In 32 tests (52 innings) 90 OdI's and 38 T20's Mathews has produced just one solitary century. Thats 160 matches and 180 times at the crease. It's' likely that Mathews might make an unifying sort of captain ala West Indies Sammy - but its highly unlikely he's going to be a profilic batsmen..Not with this kind of record. As for bowling he should let it go especially as he is also injury prone.

  • POSTED BY ahead-of-time on | March 18, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Good article. I know for a fact that players are not to read these in the middle of a game. So no harm done having something like this published for us to read. Any how truth need to be told for the players to get themselves straighten up when they read. I like your boldness as a writer. But as CRLShamalka pointed out you need to be little cautious about your approach as the game is not over and Mathews haven't done his second inning batting yet.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Matthews strength is as a great finisher in ODI's as well as a Tidy ODI bowler. As a Test player he still has a long way to go. If not for the captaincy it is doubtful if he will hold on to his test spot as a pure batsman, given that his bowling is by no means in test standard.

  • POSTED BY shanepe2003 on | March 18, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Very good article, which clearly highlights AB Mathews inability to perfome consistent basis. He's been able to hide as a all rounder by just bawling 3-5 overs in a test match and come down the order 5 or 6 down he allways has a excuse to come up with. Now with the captaincy I doubt he can run this show for a long time. A good all rounder like j kalis / s watson is always involving in the game not hiding from the game like AB Mathews.

  • POSTED BY on | March 20, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    We have come to expect a lot of Angelo Mathews because we all know he is a quality player in all formats. There is no doubt of Angelo's talent. He is as talented a player as u get around these days. I think its a matter of time till we see Mathews really showcasing his true potential. Once he settles to captaincy and takes control of the team fully, i think u will see the real Angelo Mathews come to light. GOOD LUCK MATHEWS. Hope u can take us to number one and hope u can smash hundreds and win many games for SL!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    It is very obvious now that Mathews is never going to be a wicket taking option in test cricket even under helpful conditions. So he needs to start contributing with the bat more. He needs to get occasional big hundred and bat for long periods. He is occupying a top middle order position at No. 5 and therefore has ample opportunity to do that. He simply has to think of himself as a pure batsman not an all-rounder. Thirimanne and Karunaratne also need to start scoring big on a consistent basis. The remaining three seniors will not be around for long. An occasional big score or hundred on a batting paradise against a mediocre bowling attack will not be sufficient. All three of them need to learn to adjust according to situation and the wicket. Otherwise once the seniors are gone we will have a barren run in test cricket just like what happened after Murali's retirement.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    For all the Mathews bashers, just go to cricinfo statsguru and do a search for Sri Lanka in test matches against all oppositions from 1 March 2011 to 1 March 2013 and see who leads the batting averages. It is obviously Sanga who is the best test batsman around. The next is the guy you are trying to bash, Angelo Mathews. He has been SL's no 2 batsman for 2 years, ahead of all other so called seniors. I rest my case Andrew and his click of Angelo bashers. Also Angelo was not out in 9 of his 53 test innings. In many he was the last man out. He has only one century ? He has two nineties ie 99 and 95. I am sure he will improve on this.

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | March 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Angelo should bat at No 4 not at six or 5.He has a avg of 50 batting there as evidenced with his avg of 50.00 in the domestic. Chandimal a great talent should bat at 3.

    Shehan Jayasuriya looks a better replacement for dilshan because of his consistancy Munaweera lacks patience

  • POSTED BY Palitha-Ferdinands on | March 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Having read the full article, I am bit confused as the headline does not seem to match with the content of the article.

  • POSTED BY Metro-ant on | March 18, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    This is a great article and I'm still laughing at the comment suggesting it is inappropriate to comment about Mathews during a test match. Kieron Pollard has scored more centuries than Mathews in ODI cricket which isn't hard because Mathews has scored none. Yet despite only averaging 40 with the bat with one century, I'm sure if Murali Vijay takes the ferry to Jaffna he would be able to put pressure on Mathews for the captaincy. I know us Sri Lankans always give the excuse for Mathews that he is the 'finisher', really? Is it really good enough to give the test captaincy to someone who averages 72 with the ball and has scored 1 century to call him the 'finisher'? Are we really that short of players?

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | March 18, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    A lot of fans and Andrew suggest that Mathews must improve his batting and start showing solid results instead of cameos. As for his bowling - well we all know! What if all we see is what we get, and there is never going to be any improvement? In 32 tests (52 innings) 90 OdI's and 38 T20's Mathews has produced just one solitary century. Thats 160 matches and 180 times at the crease. It's' likely that Mathews might make an unifying sort of captain ala West Indies Sammy - but its highly unlikely he's going to be a profilic batsmen..Not with this kind of record. As for bowling he should let it go especially as he is also injury prone.

  • POSTED BY ahead-of-time on | March 18, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Good article. I know for a fact that players are not to read these in the middle of a game. So no harm done having something like this published for us to read. Any how truth need to be told for the players to get themselves straighten up when they read. I like your boldness as a writer. But as CRLShamalka pointed out you need to be little cautious about your approach as the game is not over and Mathews haven't done his second inning batting yet.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Matthews strength is as a great finisher in ODI's as well as a Tidy ODI bowler. As a Test player he still has a long way to go. If not for the captaincy it is doubtful if he will hold on to his test spot as a pure batsman, given that his bowling is by no means in test standard.

  • POSTED BY shanepe2003 on | March 18, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Very good article, which clearly highlights AB Mathews inability to perfome consistent basis. He's been able to hide as a all rounder by just bawling 3-5 overs in a test match and come down the order 5 or 6 down he allways has a excuse to come up with. Now with the captaincy I doubt he can run this show for a long time. A good all rounder like j kalis / s watson is always involving in the game not hiding from the game like AB Mathews.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Its only his first series...lets wait before we call the executioner.....after all Angelo has played some sterling innings in the past and some pretty mediocre ones too but then again so have others.

  • POSTED BY Dr.Lakson on | March 18, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    I like Andrews writing and the selection of material. But this article is not appropriate in the middle of a test match...... And also you are using lies, damn lies and statistics to bring home your argument(if there is an argument).

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Angelo (average 42.25 over last 2 years batting at no 6) is our the best batter after Sanga ( average 50.02 over last 2 years ) in the team at the start of the series. Even Mahela has averaged only 31.19 over the last 2 years batting at no 4. So Angelo need not worry about this article which shows the immaturity of the author. Chandimal has done well against minors BD, ie great for SL. But a record of being the No 2 batter of SL after world's no 1 batter Sanga is a record Angelo can be proud of when in the company of Mahela (ave 31.19), Dilshan (ave 35.13) and Samaraweera (ave 34.41) who are below him in the last 2 years batters averages. I am certain Angelo, Chandimal, Thirimanne and Dimuth will overtake the seniors very soon and build a powerful SL team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    I have noticed some are for mathews and others against ,I hve thought Mathews to be too immature. When mahela was his age and made VC,his batting got affected. Captaincy is affecting his batting . I know Ian Craig was made captain and that was his end. Chandimal is captaincy material but he too can suffer. I may be wrong and Mathews can come back. Alternatively Mahela shud be made captain till end of year till Mathews or Chandimalis ready or else they are being thrown to the wolves.Also criticism can cause divisions in the team.Andrew is knowledgeable but can be wrong as much as we fans.Since there is no more tests till end of year,lets forhet captaincy issues. A wrong captain can make or break a team as may be happening to Australia. In Srilanka in addition the captain has to be aware of political interference. Ranjan Rodrigo Sydney

  • POSTED BY Udendra on | March 18, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    what is this writer thinking? A captain has to be the innings' highest scorer? Captaincy is a different discipline. And don't count the eggs before hatched. Both of them just started their new roles and are relatively young in their careers.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | March 18, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    I like the fact that Andrew Fernando is becoming a dedicated cricket journalist and I'm proud about him as a Sri Lankan. However he has to think twice before he put his pre-mature statements otherwise he'll be considered as just an ordinary journalist in the future. He needs to learn the game 1st rather than becoming too emotional about his gut feeling

  • POSTED BY Ramansilva on | March 18, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    What did Mathews think when he promoted himself in the batting order. He is neither a specialist batsman nor a specialist bowler in a test team. I think he is the captain at present because there is no other option of a mature cricketer. His days are numbered and perhaps Chandimal has to takeover too pre-maturely.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | March 18, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    @docvinnny and uppercut07 : I'm really grateful that game still has a few genius observers left like you. You two are spot on with your comparisons and stats. Those who haven't alteast played plastic ball cricket and those who have got a very short term memory will continue to comment against Mathews atleast until he pull out another win for the team from no where or when he takes the team to glory.

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | March 18, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Mathews. I do remember him saying himself as genuine all rounder. But to be a genuine all rounder, he need to specialize in one field and contribute more than handy in the other field. that's what define the all rounders like Botham, Kallis, Sobers, Kapil, Imran, Freddie, Shakib and Waugh Brothers. Watson is in Mathews league. When lost his bowling due to injury is struggling for place in test team as his batting alone won't merit place. If you are gonna be a genuine all rounder, specialize in batting and add value through bowling. Till that, they will be a bits and pieces cricketers like Robin Singh, Moody..

  • POSTED BY Anushika on | March 18, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Mathews had the best test averages than many in the previous series. Forget about it, Many great batsmen have gone through this kind of periods. This article is definitely bring division among current players. When politics plays a major role in everything, this will definitely effect Sri Lankan cricket. Hopefully Mathews and Chandimal will have senses to go through this and become a dynamic duo. Lets wait and see........

  • POSTED BY goldeneye075 on | March 18, 2013, 1:59 GMT

    Every cricketer do go through a tough period, and this might be Mathews chance !!! Sri Lanka need a good leader to the future, let him learn his job at this level, he may not be the classical batsmen, or an attacking bowler in the team, what we need is the leadership quality in the person. He has got lot of potential, and has shown a glimpse of his capabilities, so let him shine ...

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Struggling???? Angelo was heading Sri Lankan batting for the last 3 series in aggregate. 1) Sri Lanka Australia series in Australia 2) Sri Lanka Australia series in Sri Lanka 3) Sri Lanka New Zealand series in Sri Lanka. Now what is Andrew talking about ? He was the best SL batter during the last 3 test series, chec with stats guru. Are you against Angelo Mathews , Andrew ??

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 17, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    One more thing. Mathews averages 40+ in tests. That is a very respectable average, given that he started very much as an all rounder. If he becomes a pure batsman, I have no doubt that he will average 50+. And he will not be just a flat track bully. He will make runs on difficult wickets.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 17, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    More often than not, I agree with Andrew. But in this instance, I just have one thing to say: It is WAY too early to judge Mathews. The guy has a lot of ability. He has won many matches for SL. He is just 25. Sanga is one of the greatest batsmen in world cricket. Mahela has a great average and performs when the conditions are favorable. Thilan was a great fighter and a solid batsman in all kinds of conditions. I don't recall Mahela, Sanga or Thilan winning matches for SL at the age of 25. So, let's give a bit more time to the guy.

  • POSTED BY king78787 on | March 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    and i forgot to add i do believe he got out to a ball that wasn't exactly bad more EXCELLENT. And may i add when was everyone calling for the retirement of sanga when he played badly against NZ or samarweera aginst aus or parnavita to be dropped when he failed FAILED against pakistan.Point made

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 17, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    A HEART !!! a big heart, that's what a leader should have to provide much needed backbone to his team and lead his team to success. And Indeed Mathews has got a big heart. Chandimal's 100 at Lords incident shows it all. Sorry Andrew, but this time you've got it all wrong. There is absolutely no need for a comparison between Chandimal n Mathews. Obviously Mathews is under a bit of pressure now after having been handed over the steering wheel of one of the top teams in the world. Expectations are higher n he has to focus on many things (Mahela's absence in the field also a factor ) to meet those expectations. I say, Mathews is the best person for the job n give him a bit of time to sort things out. I'm sure he will make a wonderful skipper following the tradition of Arjuna n Mahela.

  • POSTED BY king78787 on | March 17, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    darren sammy is the WORST possible captain for the windies. Whilst his leadership is good and his batting can rarely come good his bowling is POOR. He is not a top 7 batsmen or a test bowler. Now because of him the windies have to bat ramdin at 6 and people like dwayne bravo a ACTUAL allrounder miss out. Matthews can actually bat for long periods of time, has experience and can fill in a few overs. All he needs is a BIG knock and to keep himself at no6 where he is comfortable.Chandimal at no5 and with vithnage to come matthews will have a better batsmen than P Jayawardena to bat with

  • POSTED BY docvinnny on | March 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    I think we should not be harsh on Mathews. After all a good captain does not have to be the best batsman or the best bowler. Take for example Arjuna and Sobers They just rose to the occasion and delivered. More importantly they are a rare caliber of people who are able to read the opposition quickly adopt and use the players you are given to the get the best possible result for the team and country. Comparing Chandimal to Mathews is like comparing Kalicharan to Sobers in early years.For that matter Sobers was also picked as a bowler first for the test team. Please don't forget the number of opportunities given to Marvan before we got the real results off him. Mathews has a real cool head and he has always shown that nothing is impossible. Lets not forget that after all he not only got the young player to get the 100 but also won the game for us. Lets give some time for him to enjoy before we bitch in true Sri Lankan style!

  • POSTED BY Uppercut07 on | March 17, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Now this might be bit naive, or even bit nuts, but my view is that a captain should be able to warrent a place in the XI just for his 'leadership' alone! A team needs a someone or something to hold them together! A team of superstars will not nessascerilly be succesful if they lack that rudder to guide them. Best examples are Arjuna Ranatunga, Stephan Fleming and at present Darren Sammy.

    Best example is given in the article: the players need someone to tell them: ''u go get it(that instance, Chandi's 100), I've got ur back''- that's leadership for u!

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I always believed that Chndimal is much better cricketer than Mathews. Mathews in the team as a batting all rounder and what has he accomplished as an all rounder? If he continue to perform like the way he has been performing, he might loose not only his captaincy, but his place in the team too. When tons of young talent is waiting in the line, no point keeping none performers in the team. Mathews is not Jayawardana or Sangakkara.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    It seems like Mathews is under pressure with his new post. Looking at the way he batted against NZ in the previous series it's obvious that he was the only successful man against tough bowling of them and had scored 230+ in 3 innings! But as the captain he needs more skills to handle pressure!

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Kusal should be in the team, his last 3 matches in domestic tournament are 203, 97 and 326

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    Chandimal should eventually give up wicket keeping and move up the order like Sanga did and I would like to see him batting at No. 3 eventually. Kusal Perera should come in soon as the wicket keeper batsman and bat at No.7. I am sure that it is going to happen sooner.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    agree with andrew to some extent.But honestly think mathews eigther should bat at 6 letting chandi bat at 5 or should bat at 5 in tests as well as in ODI's.Mathews having another lean patch IMO.And i can understand it when he normally only got to bat with tail in the recent past till Samaraweera retired.Even in ODIs it was the same case.When you bat less time in the middle,it can happen.I will give some more time to mathews before deciding.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    He should bat at no.6.That's the best position for a batsman like him.Move Chandi to no.5.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    He should bat at no.6.That's the best position for a batsman like him.Move Chandi to no.5.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    agree with andrew to some extent.But honestly think mathews eigther should bat at 6 letting chandi bat at 5 or should bat at 5 in tests as well as in ODI's.Mathews having another lean patch IMO.And i can understand it when he normally only got to bat with tail in the recent past till Samaraweera retired.Even in ODIs it was the same case.When you bat less time in the middle,it can happen.I will give some more time to mathews before deciding.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    Chandimal should eventually give up wicket keeping and move up the order like Sanga did and I would like to see him batting at No. 3 eventually. Kusal Perera should come in soon as the wicket keeper batsman and bat at No.7. I am sure that it is going to happen sooner.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Kusal should be in the team, his last 3 matches in domestic tournament are 203, 97 and 326

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    It seems like Mathews is under pressure with his new post. Looking at the way he batted against NZ in the previous series it's obvious that he was the only successful man against tough bowling of them and had scored 230+ in 3 innings! But as the captain he needs more skills to handle pressure!

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I always believed that Chndimal is much better cricketer than Mathews. Mathews in the team as a batting all rounder and what has he accomplished as an all rounder? If he continue to perform like the way he has been performing, he might loose not only his captaincy, but his place in the team too. When tons of young talent is waiting in the line, no point keeping none performers in the team. Mathews is not Jayawardana or Sangakkara.

  • POSTED BY Uppercut07 on | March 17, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Now this might be bit naive, or even bit nuts, but my view is that a captain should be able to warrent a place in the XI just for his 'leadership' alone! A team needs a someone or something to hold them together! A team of superstars will not nessascerilly be succesful if they lack that rudder to guide them. Best examples are Arjuna Ranatunga, Stephan Fleming and at present Darren Sammy.

    Best example is given in the article: the players need someone to tell them: ''u go get it(that instance, Chandi's 100), I've got ur back''- that's leadership for u!

  • POSTED BY docvinnny on | March 17, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    I think we should not be harsh on Mathews. After all a good captain does not have to be the best batsman or the best bowler. Take for example Arjuna and Sobers They just rose to the occasion and delivered. More importantly they are a rare caliber of people who are able to read the opposition quickly adopt and use the players you are given to the get the best possible result for the team and country. Comparing Chandimal to Mathews is like comparing Kalicharan to Sobers in early years.For that matter Sobers was also picked as a bowler first for the test team. Please don't forget the number of opportunities given to Marvan before we got the real results off him. Mathews has a real cool head and he has always shown that nothing is impossible. Lets not forget that after all he not only got the young player to get the 100 but also won the game for us. Lets give some time for him to enjoy before we bitch in true Sri Lankan style!

  • POSTED BY king78787 on | March 17, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    darren sammy is the WORST possible captain for the windies. Whilst his leadership is good and his batting can rarely come good his bowling is POOR. He is not a top 7 batsmen or a test bowler. Now because of him the windies have to bat ramdin at 6 and people like dwayne bravo a ACTUAL allrounder miss out. Matthews can actually bat for long periods of time, has experience and can fill in a few overs. All he needs is a BIG knock and to keep himself at no6 where he is comfortable.Chandimal at no5 and with vithnage to come matthews will have a better batsmen than P Jayawardena to bat with

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 17, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    A HEART !!! a big heart, that's what a leader should have to provide much needed backbone to his team and lead his team to success. And Indeed Mathews has got a big heart. Chandimal's 100 at Lords incident shows it all. Sorry Andrew, but this time you've got it all wrong. There is absolutely no need for a comparison between Chandimal n Mathews. Obviously Mathews is under a bit of pressure now after having been handed over the steering wheel of one of the top teams in the world. Expectations are higher n he has to focus on many things (Mahela's absence in the field also a factor ) to meet those expectations. I say, Mathews is the best person for the job n give him a bit of time to sort things out. I'm sure he will make a wonderful skipper following the tradition of Arjuna n Mahela.