England in Sri Lanka 2012

Injured Mathews out of first England Test, future as bowler doubtful

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

March 23, 2012

Comments: 112 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews is ecstatic after effecting a breakthrough, Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Sydney, February 17, 2012
Will Angelo Mathews be able to fill the role of allrounder for Sri Lanka again? © Getty Images
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Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka allrounder, has been ruled out of the first Test against England with a calf injury that has quickened speculation that his ability to bowl at international level is now open to serious doubt.

The assertion by Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chief selector, that Mathews faces a potential future as a specialist batsman will come as a shock to a side that has only a couple of days to regroup ahead of the Galle Test after rushing back home from the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

Mathews failed a fitness test on his injured calf on Friday morning. The injury kept him out of the Asia Cup and the finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series. Chamara Silva, a middle-order batsman, who made a magnificent century against England for the Sri Lanka Development XI earlier this week, replaces Mathews in the squad. Thilan Samaraweera takes over Mathews' role of vice-captain to Mahela Jayawardene.

"I don't think we can use Mathews as an allrounder in the future," de Mel said. "Mathews has some problem with his legs and it is very unlikely he will bowl much. We have to look at him purely as a batsman."

Silva, who took 163 from 180 balls off the tourists' attack on a bountiful batting surface at the SSC, only for England to win by four wickets in a last-day run chase, has been in prolific form during the home first-class season, being the only batsman to top 1000 runs. He played the last of his 11 Tests for Sri Lanka in April 2008 against West Indies in Port of Spain, and has since been in and out of the one-day side.

De Mel also stated that Tharanga Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne will contest the right to partner Tillakaratne Dilshan at the top of the order. A fast bowler's spot is also likely to be similarly contested with either Suranga Lakmal or Dhammika Prasad expected to partner Chanaka Welegedara.

"The team management will have to take a call on who should bat at no. 7," De Mel said. "It is between regular wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal, who has not kept wickets for some time."

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Posted by janoodot on (March 25, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Why Upul Tharanga is not given any chance? He has scored 12 ODI centuries...but don't understnd y he hadn't got much opportunity in Tests...

Posted by Slesh on (March 25, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

My team is 1.Chandimal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Samaraweera 6.Chamara 7.Randiv 8.Herath 9.Prasad 10.Welagedara 11.Lakmal The main reason behind this 11 is... Look @ our bowling side..we cant afford to go with only 4 main bowlers!! Only 1 RFB to bowl lots of overs..??? it will put loads of work to the 2 fast bowlers.. SO we need 5 main bowlers including 3 seamers as well as 2 spinners..coz we are playing in Galle.Randiv can bat well.so it dosent matter to let him bat @ no.7.both Herath n Prasad can give 20-30 runs. So we must go with 6-5 combination..

Posted by LeoE on (March 25, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Its important to analyse how the top three SL batters perform these days. We cannot expect Sanga, Dilshan or Mahela to score more than a forty or a fifty these days. They are so indisciplined in their approach, that opposition bowlers do not plan anymore. They just know its a matter of time before Sanga will drive in the air, or Dilshan will hook from outside the off stump , or Mahela will snick to slip and it will be 70 for 3. Then we need Thilan and Mathews type of player to bat sensibly using their heads, rotate strike and blunt the attack in the scorching hot sun. We do not want brainless crazy swinging the bat at everything type, driving on the up, dont know when to leave the ball, dont know where the off stump is, type of batsman. Dilshan,Sanga and Mahela are such examples. Sri Lanka can never win test matches with them alone. We need intelligent batting from Thilan, Mathews and Chandimal, Prasanna etc.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

My team 1.T Dilshan 2.L Thirimanne 3.K sannakkara 4.D chandimal 5.T samaraweera 6.C silva 7.P jayawardena 8.S Randiv 9.R herath 10.C welagedara 11.S Lakmal

Posted by   on (March 25, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

My 11 for the 1st Test - Thirimanna, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chandimal, Randiv, Herath, Welagedara and Prasad

Not Paranawitharana please. I have respect for Prasanna Jayawardena but give Chandimal a go. he deserves despite bad form in the Asia Cup. That will give the youngster a world of confidence

Posted by boyrocky on (March 24, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

@ all who commented to my post....

for who say we dont have better batsmen than mathews -> we will never find out until we give chances to people like bhanuka rajapaksha, anjelo perera, kaushal silva etc... what i meant was a genuine batsman is needed and mathews i'm sorry is not a genuine batsman with test quality technique.

for who say he has a great average in test cricket batting in lower order -> pls compare averages of adam gilchrist, VVS laxman etc who come down lower order. in tests 40 is not an exellent average....

Posted by randikaayya on (March 24, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

Upul Tharanga should be in the team!! Unlike Mathews who plays for himself mostly, Tharanga has played for the team, atleast of late. Mathews and Malinga are headed in the same direction I fear, and Malinga should be dropped outright for showing no commitment whatsoever in the field and while bowling at crucial points. To compete as a pure batsman mathews has to up his game a lot more

Posted by stormy16 on (March 24, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

Mathews missed the WC final, the CB final, the Asia cup - the time has come to get over Mathews bowling and play him as a batter and he hasnt really done much as a batter either.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

To build up a very compittive Srilankan team in all aspects it is very essential to explore for a team a genuine all rounder and dashing opener in domestic level and give them proper training well in advance to face any kind of challanges in future.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

But one of the local news paper confirmed that mathews would be available for selection to play the first test.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (March 24, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

@Jarr30: if half the England team haven't heard of Angelo Mathews, that suggests they aren't very well informed about their opponents, or very well prepared. If I knew that little about my job, I'd expect to get the sack. I hope for the sake of the likes of Ian Bell, etc, that you are wrong

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 24, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

@maddy20- "2-0 or worse"how much worse can you get ina two match series??

Posted by lakshitha.jayakody on (March 24, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

What all theses cricketers need is good rest!!! Rest has been the fundamental absence for most cricketers after post 2007 era. That why we see more and more people getting injured regularly and depreciate at a fast pace. If amount of cricket load continued at this pace, many young stars we see today will hardly have 30+ career.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 24, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

I would not be surprised if the Lankans are blanked by England 2-0 or worse. Their recent spate of performances, both at home and away inspire little confidence!

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 24, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

@Meety - that's not a sledge, it's a fact, and his stats prove it.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

Not Pranavithana please.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

hopefull that malinga will be dropped for the ODI's....he doesnt seem to be enjoying playing for sri lanka....the way he fields sums up his attitude....Its high time to dump these kinda players and groom a young fast bowler as there are many in the domestic circuit who could play with commitment while playing for country unlike malinga......

Posted by Mr_Kas on (March 24, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Dinesh Chandimal was originally an opening batsman, so why not let him open the batting in tests. With the form Chamara Silva is in it will be usefull to have him inluded. I feel Lahiru is more an ODI player. So my team is Chandi,Dili,Sanga,Mahela,Thilan,Chamara,Prasanna,Randiv,Herath,Prasad,Chanaka

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

best of luck lanka ........pakistan is wth u :D

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

my team for galle test,thirimanne,dilshan,sangakkara,mahela,chandimal,prassana,samaraweera,randiv,kulasekara,herath,welgedara

Posted by Meety on (March 24, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

@RandyOZ - don't mind you sledging Poms, but why sledge Matthews? That match he won with Malinga against us a year or so ago was top notch & he nearly did it again in the tri-series.

Posted by Meety on (March 24, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

Shame, hope it proves to be wrong mid to long term. Matthews is not yet good enough to justify his spoy in the Test team as a specialist batsmen (although has promise & is still young). Hope he will be able to bowl, he is useful as a bowler.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

hope to see sri lanka thrash England like we did in test matches........lolz From Pakistan Gud luck lanka:)))))))))))

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (March 24, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

If he works hard on his batting, cementing his place at no.6 in the test team shouldn't be an issue. He defintely has the talent. Anyways his bowling won't be missed in Tests, not really a test quality bowler. However, he is very useful in ODIs and it's effect the balance of the team definetly. Either ways, he is still one of the better finishers around, so he'll be in the team in limited overs for sure. Maybe, if Thisra Perara works harder he could take up the permenant all-rounders position while Mattews stays as a pure batsman.

Posted by HLANGL on (March 24, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

To me, Anjelo Mathews should have been advised a long ago to play as a specialist batsman, that's what his primary skill has been all throughout his career, let it be in the international games or in the first class games. His bowling is quite moderate, just see his first class bowling statistics, let alone his credentials as a bowler in international games. He will never going to be a genuine allrounder, a role which demmands significant skills as a bowler. Even a batting allrounder like Kallis has far far better bowling credentials, he's a lot sharper as a bowler compared to Mathews who's only military medium. The strength of Mathews is his batting, if properly developed, he can be a worldclass batsman having substantial flair. At his best, he will never going to be a genuine allrounder, but will be a genuine batsman who can be quite decent as a utility bowler.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

I hope that this will not happen to the same for Thisara perera plz god help them :(

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

There are very good players performing at first class level and some even do well against visiting teams in warm-up games. But 5 day test cricket is a totally different affair. If we add names of all players mentioned here we can create about 3 test squads. Selectors can never pick a squad that will please everyone . Another thing not realized here is the huge difference between tests and ODIs. De Mel's words have been taken out of context. He never hinted that Matthews has no place in the team as a batsman. Like any other batsman he has to keep scoring runs in all forms of cricket and remain fit over a long duration to retain his place. Regarding his batting position, he should look at what Thilan did. He came to bat at No. 8 on debut to accommodate a night watchman, scored an unbeaten hundred and thereafter kept scoring and it was Marvan who once promoted him to No.5 and he held on. On two occasions he was sent in at No.3 and scored a hundred and a fifty against Eng and Aus.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 24, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

Ignore Jarr30. I'm quite sure that every England player and pretty much all genuine England fans have heard of Angelo Matthews. That's a tough break, but he may just have enough to make it as a batsman, especially if he doesn't have to concentrate on bowling too. Many have been saying that Matthews should bat higher up the order.

Posted by shajw on (March 24, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

I can't believe de Mel is not considering Chandimal as a regular player in the Test XI after the maturity he showed in South Africa to back up the talent we know he has. I think Prasanna Jayawardena must play as he is the better keeper. However, I would rather have Chandimal in the side at #6 than give Chamara Silva yet another chance.

My Galle XI would be: 1.Thirmanne 2. Dilshan 3. Sangakkara 4. Mahela 5. Samaraweera 6. Chandimal 7. Prasanna 8. Randiv 9. Herath 10. Prasad 11. Welagedara

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 0:50 GMT)

@jarr30, where have you been dude, if you can't remember about out batting performances in the recent tours please go back and check...How many English players scored hundred in Sri Lanka ??? its really shame....Sanga,Dilshan & Mahela scored hundreds in last England tour and Thilan scored 2 hundreds in SA...Please check if you are out of this world.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Angelo have a quite word with Shane Watson. He had similar issues. You must play in ODIs as a batsman. You are the best finisher that SL got at this moment of time.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

Im shocked to find comments here doubting AM batting ability. has everyone forgotten what he did to Australia in Australia and against SA in S.Africa. Matthews has always bn a solid batsmen.. scored almost 8 first class centuries (batting at one drop and two) to make it to the first team.. he hardly bowled at domestic level. Sadly we don't have a finisher and AM hs had to fill in at 6 and adopt to the teams needs and change his steady style of batting to balance this side.. He's not a great bowler, he's a smart cricketer..Its sad if he won't bowl as much but defa Batsmen to watch out for the future.

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 23, 2012, 23:54 GMT)

Mathews would have to be the most overrated player in SL. Someone like Chandimal deserves far more credit but doesnt get it.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (March 23, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

I think @boyrocky is right. Mathews does have a few knocks behind him but he is not a pure batsman. He doesn't have the batting flair. And I think the underlying idea of @boyrocky too is right. Sri Lanka must develop genuine batsmen and genuine bowlers not the type of all rounders they are playing with for a long time. Win or loose Sri Lanka should aim at playing consuming cricket with 5 good batsmen, 2 real fast bowlers, 1 swing bowler, 1 attacking spinner like Warne and another spinner. There is no point winning playing like India to win. Indian team never makes good watching.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

@Jar30, Yes mate! I agree with you about this FLAT TRACK BULLY THEORY, but they were all home grown talents. How many of your players actually were born in ENGLAND ? Perhaps Mr DeMel should check up and see whether he can get AB or Dale Steyn to play against colourful poms. SL has just completed a full tour of SA. They are now (flat track bullies) getting ready to play the B team.

Posted by MrTom10 on (March 23, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

He needs to work on his fitness more, clearly he's not conditioning himself in the right areas.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

this man De Mel is insane ! CHandimal should be a regular and he is our best young batsman.Thirimanne should Open...

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

Samaraweera is the most prolific test batsman in the past 5 yrs. go lookup the stats, if not sure! sad about SL vice captain's injury.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 19:26 GMT)

i believe samaraweera is the best when we compare with angelo and samaraweera.there is no second word.good selection for sri lankan criket.

Posted by ARad on (March 23, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

I am no fan of Asantha De Mel but he is right about retiring Mathews as a bowler. It is not just a matter of one calf injury but Mathews has had RECURRING injuries as a bowler which has prevented him from having long uninterrupted spells in the national side. He was very valuable as a bowler in shorter formats but he is even more valuable as a batsman which appears to be his primary skill. It is nice to see SAMARAWEERA getting some recognition.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Roshen Silva/Angelo Silva/Chamara Silva/Serasinghe/Eranga/ Karunaratne/ Kandamby/Rajapaksa/ Kushal Perera (WK) or Dilruwan Perera. We missed a trick! My Asia cup side would have bn Tharanga/Karunaratne/Lahiru.T /Dinesh.C (WK)/C.Silva/Kandanby/Serasinghe/Eranga or Maharoof or Dilruwan Pererea/Nuwan.K/S.Prassana or Senanayake/Malinga. That said my first test team is: Dili/Sanga/Silva or Tilan/Mahela/Tilan or Silva/ Dinesh (Wk)/Serasinghe (Bat/Spin)/Dilruwan Perera (Spin/Bat)/Herath/Weleg/Prasad. PJ will miss out only to give this team some balance and knowing England's weakness to handle spin. I'll play Serasinghe as a spin bowling batsmen and Dilruwan Perera on current form as a specialist right arm spinner to complement hearth. I'm not too sure about Randiv.. He's definitely got talent, anyways it looks like he'll play, so let's see

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Not a Big De Mel fan, some value in his point. I rather hav Mathews available at all times than have him warming the bench injured when we need him the most. He's a classy act with the bat, who I rate higher than young DC. D STAR (If he bats higher up the order.. which he will once the greats retire, he will prove me rite) We can afford to use AM as a specialist bat who bowls a few over's only when needed (Eranga and Thissira seems to be developing well, but not yet test match ready) Eranga needs to work on his batting and Thissira needs to work on his bowling. That said I feel the selectors missed a trick after the CB series.. Where we could have prioritized test cricket and manage the first team better!!! The Asia cup should have been the platform to field a young team and give some key players due rest so we keep them fresh and hungry 4 England.. Sanga/Dili/Mahela/Mathews should have bn rested and replaced by guys like: (Next post)

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 23, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

@sarath 1948 - whilst the guys you mention have done well, there is a HUGE gulf between playing school and junior cricket in SL and top level international cricket...Angelo did well against England in the warm up and I know Rajapakse has done well in the past but these guys need to be consistent performers in the A team and pressurising the big names in the first team for their places..look at Australia, players have to wait so long to get their chance that when they get that opportunity,they are hungry to keep it and it often leads to success..thats the type of mentality our players need to adopt..

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 23, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

@Sir Viv 1973 - great question re the openers..personally my test team (and batting order would be): 1. Tharanga 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5.Dilshan 6. Samaraweera 7. Chandimal(WK) 8 Herath. 9. Senanayake. 10 Eranga 11. Welagedara.

I think it will be tough for us, given that we are playing the no.1 team but lets see if we can compete...good luck SL...

Posted by switchmitch on (March 23, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

Fast bowling All rounders are no more sustainable, if one considers the workload on present day cricketers. Kallis is the only guy who has successfully managed to perform in both batting and bowling disciplines for a prolonged period of time, many others have had to compromise on one discipline to prolong their careers.

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (March 23, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

I am not an admirer of Ashanta De Mel but in this case I think he is right. It cant be just a calf injury as Mathews often gets the same injury over and over again whenever he bowls, although given that calf injuries are a bowlers bane. Still there is no need to discard Mathews. He is a cool head and more than justifies a slot as a specialist batsmen.

Posted by PKosgoda on (March 23, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

Mathews is one of the best after Samaraweera,who has total control over his stroke play .Similar to Samaraweera(who was given a step motherly treatment by selectors of last 15 years) he has been showing his class from very young age.. The batsmen of good technique and control has no place with these jokers, even after losing to Bangladesh there are yet to realize this very fact, reckless batting has zero value when the wicket is tough for batting . It was not the 1st time seniors failed in Bangladesh either. The future of SLan Cricket too is very uncertain with these Jokers.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 23, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

I would like to ask the SRL fans who they think should be opening the batting. Dilshan seemed to be struggling at the top recently & moved down to 5. I've seen a bit of Pravantania and I'm not sure he will ever be a solid reliable opener. Do you think Thrimane should get a run at the top of the order or are there any other promising young openers out there ? Also if Matthews comes back quickly should it be him or Chandimal at 6 or should Prasana Jayawardene be dropped and the promising young chadimal be given the gloves.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 23, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

@Jar30, Matthews has probably been SRL most consitent batsmen in test cricket over the last 12 mths so I would imagine the Eng camp would have been well aware of his ability as a batsman, as an Eng fan I certainly was. To be honest he has always been a batting allrounder and is a 5th bowler at best in test terms. However I think his medium pace is quite useful in limited overs games and thats something SRL will miss. I don't think this news shld come as a surprise for SRL fans, he has played almost exclusivley as a batsman since the WC until the Tri series in Aus and has broken down again almost as soon as he started bowling again.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

Jarr30, there is no way you can classify Thilan as a flat track bullie anymore. He showed what he is made out of by scoring two hundreds in SA test series. He was never dismissed by Dayle Steyn the number one ranked pace bowler in the world. He averaged over 50 in England tour. Sanga has also showed his class in scoring hundreds in England, Austraila and South Africa. Mahela might have had a lean period of late. But he has scored hundreds in England, Australia, West Indies.

Posted by Prema1948 on (March 23, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Incidentally we could have done better both in the CB Series&Asia Cups if they had employed,S'NAYAKE on those wkts conducive to spin, though he has performed brilliantly in every chance given, similar to above mentioned players he is an o/s bowler (1st Cla Bow Ave20)in the domestic Cricket since 2007. Senanyake went to SA &AUS as the leading wicket taker in the Domestic scene but he was prevented from bowling even pitches ideal for spin in Adilade & Bangladesh. These jokers act like villains as far as the Country is concerned otherwise there is no reason for jokers to overlook Senanayake for the 2 Test matches against England after his good performances in the match against Bangladesh with that slippery wet ball. His bowling was the only consolation in that match for us as Sri Lankan fans. (to be CNTD) (Stats courtesy ESPNcricinfo.com).

Posted by Prema1948 on (March 23, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

M'ela & D'shan have scored only 2 &3 50s respectively in their last 16 Test innings, a country can't depend on such reckless batting to win matches, therefore the best thing to do is to bring youngsters maintained consistency from very young age, like ANGELO PERERA the Best sch'lboy Batsman 2009, the highest run getter in U-23 t'nements,(1st Cla Ba Ave45)the best batter of T/20 Tunmt of SAARC Countries; BHANUKA the Best sch'lboy Cricketer 2010& 2011, 1of the top 4 batters in the YouthWC 2010 (1st Cla Ba Ave51); UMESH KARUNARATHNA the Best sch'lboy Cricketer 2008, 1 of the top allrounders with (1st Cla Ba Ave38&1st Cla Bow Ave18), & highest wkt taker in U-23 & PreDiv 2009/2010. What is great about these players is that they maintain such batting averages while batting very low down in the batting order for their respective clubs. These stats shows their quality.Therefore there's no need to try to fill the National teams with ordinary players (henchmen). (to be CNTD)

Posted by jayaminda on (March 23, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

let's see if he play for IPL if he do as a sri lankan he is no other than a....l sorry my friend when you first took that catch of that T20 world cup i was just behind you,that day i thought this boy is the next hero of lanka pleee don't be like MALINGA pleeee................

Posted by buncers on (March 23, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

I don't believe you can write-off Angelo's bowling because of a calf injury - what is De Mel talking about. He should go on one of his long runs (like his run up used to be) to clear his head before talking.

If Angelo is to play as a test batsman he needs to change his style of play, pretty difficult to do - his range of shots are not extensive enough for a genuine batter. He is a very promising all-rounder and a great ODI player (with bat and ball), but test batter - not yet.

SL need to bring in another all-rounder into the squad. Why is Thissara not in the squad? He could develop into a genuine test all-rounder. He has even shown signs that he can occupy the crease in the SA series. We all know he has real pace and can thump the ball. He needs to be nurtured and pushed in the right direction.

Finally, why is Eranga not in the squad. He was the only bowler to show any promise against SA and England. Why Why Why?

Selector - we need a new Vaasie in the squad. A genuine all-rounder.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Why is Shaminda Eranga not included? he bowled superbly in his debut series and was removed from the squad because of injury, now he's back to fitness and form, but not in the squad. selectors should be consistent

Posted by Tanaka_Yakuza on (March 23, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

only a joker, a big time JOKER, would say a calf injury would stop a bowler from bowling. Almost all the fast bowlers in their past had calf injuries and will be having them in the future as well. But how many would QUIT bowling because of it ? Only out JOKER can answer this.

Posted by KingOwl on (March 23, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

I think it will be tough for SL during this series. They have not been playing well at home over the last few years. SL is better at playing on bouncy tracks than at home. In fact, during recent times, there were suggestions made by some Aussie and Saffie cricketers that Sri Lankans seem to be the only batsmen who can play bounce well. Aussies found it easy to beat SL in SL but struggled in Aus! While that is certainly good for SL, I am concerned about SL's inability to play well at home.

Posted by Jarr30 on (March 23, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

I am sure half of the English team must not heard the name of Agelo Matthews, so it really doesn't make a huge diffrence to England.What England has to worry is about all these flat track bullies(Sanga,Dilshan, J'wardene & S'weera) suddenly start hitting centuries on thier flat tracks pitches.It will be tough for us to contain these flat track batsmen.

Posted by ChrisPerera on (March 23, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

Chamara Silva is not an option.

Posted by tanstell87 on (March 23, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Indian fan here....guys stop love hate relationship once & for all...this is what globalisation has done...creating internet wars between two friendly nations...anyways i feel Lanka should go all out & beat English...they were crushed by Pakistan & now Lanka should come hard at them....i still dont get as of why Tharanga isnt played as an opener...SL will miss Murali...they need to attack England all the time & bat big & series will be theirs..England dont stand a chance in sub-continent...they are home track bullies who fail outside comforts of their green tops...!

Posted by Yevghenny on (March 23, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

I love watching Mathews bat, Sri Lanka never lost while he is batting. His bowling was useful, but not at the cost of his presence at the crease

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Looking at his bowling records he is not much of a bowler anyway....22 test and 7 wickets...??

Posted by Mathu. on (March 23, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

I have not seen any other team with so many last long injuries than recent SL team.... What's wrong with these guys? Are there a physio in the tem now??

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Never heard of a bowler retiring (from bowling) because of a calf injury!

Posted by TheRedox on (March 23, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Good news for Thisara Perera and Maharoof...Now they have one less competitors as the SL'a pace bowling allrounder position.Mathews should rest as long as he can,let along the IPL.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

mathews what a shame! hes such a good bowler who can keep the runs down magnificently oon one end,a bit like kallis..i hope he can fulfill his potential as an allrounder not only as a pure batsmen

Posted by sampi72 on (March 23, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

Non availablility of the allround ability of Angelo is a big loss for Sri Lanka Cricket...Friends you can not talk about Angelos batting ability by using his batting avarage,,,Remember he is the best finisher in Sri Lanka cricket..and no one can replace him..I can not understand why prasanna Jayawardane has been recalled....It is unfortunate if chandimal is replaced by him..PJ is the best wicket keeper we have...However there is nothing wrong with Candimals keeping......personaly I accept ignorance of shamindar eranga since he is sitll not fit for 5 day games..My team 1.Para 2Dily 3 sanga 4 Maela 5Thilan 6Chamara 7 Chandimal 8randiv 9.Hearath 10 wela 11 Prasad/Lakmal

Posted by Mitcher on (March 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

From an England perspective it seems irrelevant. Their 'coronation' tour of Asia ended almost before it began. even if they manage to scrap a series win in one of the final two legs, this team will never be regarded in the top echelon. A good team no doubt. That's about it.

Posted by indianzen on (March 23, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

sad to SL folks... As far as I saw, he is a decent player down the order... its a curse to the cricketing community, that good people like Yuvi, Mathews, Harris (AUS), Shane Bond cant play as they like...

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Congratulations Thilan. At last you are duly rewarded.

Posted by Danufur on (March 23, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

@csowmi7: Did you have to bring examples of Indian players in to this situation?

Posted by itsTIME4ELImination on (March 23, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Can't understand why Upul Tharanga isn't one of the names amongst Thirimanne and Paranavitana.

Posted by mohamedamin on (March 23, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

Chandimal deserves to be in the team...he is a better batsman than Prasanna

Posted by landl47 on (March 23, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

Mathews' test batting average in 22 tests is 39.85 (not in the 50s as Perera32 claims) with one century. That's all right, but not special by test standards. If he's just going to be a batsman, Sri Lanka had better find some good bowlers quickly.

Posted by Slesh on (March 23, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Its sad to hear that Anji cannot bowl in future.but Watson was also facing this problem but came back strongly.hope the same thing will happen to him & he will come good!! And im really happy to see Samaraweera has given atleast the vc.he deserves to be the captain!!! Anyway good to see selectors have woken up.Chamara Silvas selection is great.coz of his prolific form. But still bowling attack is weak.either Lakmal or Prasad should be out.if can, even both. Eranga must play!! If Thirimanne should open. then the squad will be Perefect!!! But atleast now, Mr. De mel do something & bring Eranga to the squad!!!

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 23, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

the selectors need to let him rest and rebuild for a period of four to six months and then by that time he should be fit again...he is one of the bright starts of the future for SL and we should not let him go to the wayside due to the inability of selectors/administrators to think...

Posted by Kays789 on (March 23, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

seems like mathews' body is made out of paper-mache. horrendous fitness this guy has. he's got plenty of talent for sure. but little good that will do to the team if you struggle to play even a quarter of the games the team does. just not acceptable for a pro.

Posted by Dilruksh on (March 23, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

why the arnt they including shaminda eranga he has four wickets plyng one test..this is a joke...

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

as batsmen too he's over rated..just need to give him long long break and he he wanna come back he has to prove his worth..right noe SL cricket is better with out people like mathews..

Posted by 3rd_man on (March 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Many who suspect Mathews batting ability, I like to say something. Mathews could be one of the best batsman for SL if he given a chance to bat higher in that batting line up. because of his hitting ability and skill of bowling, he is regarded as an all rounder. he is very cleaver bowler. he don't have much pace but he can take wickets for you. look at his bowling performances at CB series. but he can play purely as a batsman for SL. but he should bat at No5. then he can perform more consistently well. I love to see him batting No 5 in all formats.

Posted by annon on (March 23, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

the selectors have woken up! we all knew that mathews was injurred. he should be given a decent rest under specialist care as this is a special talent we should not miss out. Are the selectors thinking about only two pacies? we need at least three. welagedara, eranga, and kulasekera. Find an excuse to include Upul Taranga as the opener, as para & tirimanna are raw material and have time.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

I said it before.Irrespective of how good you are,Sri Lanka cannot afford to carry injured passengers in the squad.They must be sent for Rehabilitation to nurse their injuries first before thinking of playing the game.The cricket board is responsible to ensure that talented players are medically treated locally or overseas.When you pick injured players to a squad it demotivates others who have a better stake in the selections.Hopefully justice has prevailed this time around.It is also sad to see Tharanga,Kulasekera & Senanayake out of this test squad. Whatever happens the Galle pitch is the key for a competetive match unlike the previous games played there which does not last the 5 days.Good Luck Sri Lanka.

Posted by Meherdeen on (March 23, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Its very unfortunate to loose Mathews as an allrounde!!! But selection of Chamara Silva is big blunder by the selectors. He does'nt have the temparament to be a Test cricketer. He might have scored at club level but I have my doubt on Test level. Better to try another young batsmen. Anyway best of luck SL.

Posted by proudlySL on (March 23, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

@boyrocky u seriously have 2 look @ da stats & da rankings!!! jeez some people comment with what they see in a day..... loosing someone like angelo as an allrounder to balance the team is bad for the future of sri lanka

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

@ boyrocky , well said mate, how can matthews get in only as a batsman when people like 2 chamara's in the wings, LMAO

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 23, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

Mathews fitness level is extremely poor and he should work on it to become a world class cricketer in the future. There is no point being talented if you cannot stay fit. Look at the fitness of Kohli, raina.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Mathews is a good batsman, so he can walk into the team, even if he does not bowl. But, he needs to establish his consistency as a batsman.

Posted by Dambulla on (March 23, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

Selection of Chamara Silva is great job as he is the no-1 run getter during recently concluded SL 1st class league series and scored valuable century in 2nd three day practice game. He has been unfortunately ignored CB/Asia Cup series, Sad about Angelo, 2nd time suffered big injury within last 10 months (Since 2011 WC). Good Luck SL Team!

Posted by zoot on (March 23, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

Looking at his test bowling figures he probably shouldn't be given a bowl anyway.

Tests 22 22 942 501 7 1/13 2/39 71.57 3.19 134.5 0 0 0

Posted by Perera32 on (March 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

@boyrocky: He's one one the best batsmen in the SL team, the reason he may not have a high average in ODI's is because he bats so low down the order and he has to finish off the innings. I think His Test Average is in the 50's. I think he should be given the no 3 position as an experiment in one of the matches in the future. He came into International Cricket as a Genuine All rounder, such a shame he got injured.

Posted by kentjones on (March 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

I am a West Indian. I have admired the talent of Matthews as he developed over the years. He is in my mind one of the most exciting prospects in cricket in recent years. I am deeply saddened by the news that he may not be able to continue his role as an allrounder in SL side. Isnt there something that can be done to correct this problem? It seems to me that all efforts should be made to have this corrected. Sports medicine has made tremendous strides in the last decade and there is no doubting that the technology is available. All avenues should be vigorously explored to help this man, who is a true jewel in the crown of SL cricket. Top class allrounders are a rarity in world cricket. Come on SL do something now!!

Posted by SLKfan on (March 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

oohhh!!Bad News for upcoming t20 word cup...

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

Mathews is only a batting allrounder in tests even if he was fully fit. I cannot see him running through a strong batting lineup in a test match. However, some overs he can bowl in a test match adds value to the team when we are forced to go with only two seamers. In ODIs or T20s it is a different story altogether. To fight for his place as a pure batsman in a test line up he has to do a lot of work. He tried hard in Australia and Pakistan series by trying to occupy the crease for long periods without guarding tailenders or trying to be more aggressive which is normally expected of the No. 6 batsman. Against top quality South African bowling on number of occasions his batting weaknesses were exposed. However, he is still very young and these things can be worked out spending long hours at the nets and under proper coaching. But the execution of that is totally up to him. The only genuine batting allrounder we had was Sanath Jayasuriya who bowled long spells with Murali with success.

Posted by 9ST9 on (March 23, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

His role as an all rounder is especialy valuable in ODI's where his tight bowling which was crucial in Sri Lankas performances in Australia were missed in the Asia cup, however his replacement Silva has been in good form and is not a bad choice.

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 23, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

newsflash...maybe if the selectors gave him adequate time to heal from his injuries, this woudn't be an issue...

Posted by senthil25 on (March 23, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Its Very Sad News For Srilanka......better Srilanka now try Preara in place Anglo.........If Anglo Mathews cant able to Bowl, then he is waste better Srilanka can try some Good batsman or Good Bowler instead of Him. becouse he is Average in batting & bowling, when he cant able to bowl no use to keep him in the team. Develop preara in place for Mathews.

Posted by Kadmin on (March 23, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Mathews.... Ohh man this is so depressing. I really looking forward for you to take reign from mahela and carry SL for a worldcup. Sort out yourself first mate. Then come-back strongly. I wish you the best. You are the only hope for SLC.

Posted by raja9787 on (March 23, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Sad.. one of the SL players I like.. thought he would become next captain of SL.. hope he would come back as batsman at least and form the core of future SL team along with chandimal, perara and thirumanne..

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

A very sad story for us, he is a real strength of our cricket with bat and bowl

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

@boyrocky - why don't you name a few? There aren't as many as you'd think. Mathews is done enough to show that he is good enough to bat at 6 in test cricket. But for the first test, chandimal has to get the nod at 6. One of Parane or Thiri will open with Dilshan followed by Sanga, Mahela and Samare. The batting is less of an issue than the bowling. Now that scares me. Why Kulasekara won't get a look in especially against 2 left handers at the top for england is beyond me. Probably the only genuine swing bowler in the country.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

HE IS A GREAT FINISHER OF THE GAME ' GOOD FIELDER AND THE WICE CAPTAIN.SL NEEDS HIM BADLY THESE DAYS

Posted by denwarlo70 on (March 23, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

@boyrocky, I think you are talking about some other Mathews my friend.

Posted by kasrock on (March 23, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

well this is a really shocking news for Sri Lanka he is one of the best allrounders for the One day & T20 Games but i think he shouldn't ball in Test Matches and should play as a pure batsmen and if he can bowl in one days and t20's then it would be great ... But he can play as a pure batsmen in any case he is really good player to have even without his bowling .....

Posted by satish619chandar on (March 23, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

These days, medicines are too good in many cases.. Almost similar thing was said about Watson sometime back.. He is back with a bang.. No worries.. Matthews is too good guy to miss..

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

he wil fight back,wil be bak to cricket as a not medium pace ,but as a pace bolwing and batting alrounder

Posted by LWGLWG on (March 23, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

STILL THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO CORRECT THEIR MISTAKES AND INCLUDE ERANGA TO THE SQUAD. I PRAY AN INJURY TO SURANGA LAKMAL AS HE DOES NOT AT ALL DESERVE TO BE IN THE SQUAD. PLACES IN THE TEAM SHOULD BE ON PERFORMANCE AND PRASANNA JAYAWARDENA TOO SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AS CHANDIMAL PERFORMED SO BETTER IN THE LAST SERIES.

Posted by class9ryan on (March 23, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

Mathews is d best finisher in Sri Lanka. It wouldn't b hard 4 him 2 cement his place as a batsman. But Mathews as a all-rounder really helped his side getting d balance. I hope he returns as a all-rounder somehow.

Posted by Inaz on (March 23, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

@boyrocky u have to look at the stats before you comment mate. He averages nearly 50 in first class and 40 in test cricket batting low down the order.

Posted by Inaz on (March 23, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

A very sad story for us, he is a real strength of our cricket with bat and bowl

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 23, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

He's a great player to watch, it's a shame he won't be playing

Posted by   on (March 23, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

A shame to see a promising young player injured, on the bright side Matthews is very much a batting allrounder so switching to a pure batsman is not such a big change.

Posted by boyrocky on (March 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

well.... he is not a pure batsmen. there are much better batsmen than him in the wings... if he is not an allrounder then might as well drop him forever.

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