Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele August 3, 2012

'Dropped catches have hurt Sri Lanka'- Mathews


Angelo Mathews has said dropped catches have cost Sri Lanka the ongoing ODI series against India. Suresh Raina, who was involved in match-winning partnerships during the third and the fourth ODI in Colombo, was put down at crucial stages in both games. Virender Sehwag was dropped on zero in the opening game in Hambantota before he made 96 as India posted a winning 314. "Against the Indian batting line up, you can't drop that many catches," Mathews said. "If you take from number one to seven, they're all are very good batters."

The series has been played on largely flat batting-friendly pitches so far. Mathews said he favoured "sporting" wickets, especially against a strong Indian batting line-up. "I've always fancied good sporting tracks, rather than playing on dead tracks. We all know that they [India] have a very strong batting line up. We need to come up with ideas, if we're to win against them. Preparing certain wickets also will help."

Sri Lanka have not beaten India in a bilateral ODI series since 1997. Mathews said Sri Lanka had made more mistakes than India had, and cited the example of the current series. "It happened three times so far in this series. If we make more mistakes, we're going to get more penalised. I'm sure the guys are aware of that and if we're to win, we need to me more positive and aggressive."

Sri Lanka have had a heavy workload since the 2011 World Cup while India have had a two-month break. Mathews said that professional players could not cite fatigue as an excuse, but admitted that India's break had helped them. "We're all professionals and we play the game with busy schedules. It's certainly not an excuse. It's always better to have a few days off. We really haven't had a long break in the last one and half years. Yes, I think it [the break] has helped them [India] to freshen up."

With tomorrow's game of little consequence, Mathews said Sri Lanka might consider giving fringe players a chance. Batsman Chamara Kapugedara and offspinner Sachithra Senanayake are yet to play a game in the series.

Mathews also backed young batsman Dinesh Chandimal, whose highest score in the series has been 28, to come good. "We don't try to distract him with too much talking. He's a player who can always come back and do his part. He's shown lots of character. A player can fail in three four innings but a guy like Chandimal will always come back."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prabhash1985 on August 5, 2012, 14:20 GMT


    I agree mate... He was a legend, and so far, nobody could be compared with Wasim. I just meant, Dinda is much much better than average Indian bowling attack... At least he is cunning that the average lot... Wasim, Waqar were magical...

  • dummy4fb on August 4, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    SL Should bat second in order to win this match... Indian batting line up healthy against our bowling attack. and SL's batting line up is clicked and they can chase any target... so let's chase.....

  • Sinhaya on August 4, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @Venki_indian, sorry correction! Sri Lanka have won 6 tests against Pakistan in Pakistan but India have won only 2 tests and that too came only in 2004! We will start winning in Australia too just like how we won in South Africa.

  • AshanRox on August 4, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Hi Prabhash1985! Dont compare Wasim Akram with Dinda. Wasim was one of a kind and a true legend.

  • no.1_multicultural_team on August 4, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    The flat track! Green track commentators invent this word to make them appear better and subcontinent teams look bad,and you fall for it.If these tracks were so flat and batting friendly,why o why only one of green track team could bat their way to semi fainals in world cup in india?

  • Hush78 on August 4, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Enough of this India Sri Lanka bash..guys we are Asians.better we are south Asians.we should respect each other more than this.I am a Sri lankan and I have always being proud of Sri lankans for what they have achieve being a very small nation.I think indians also should be happy because no matter bad things people says about indian team they are the world champions.and no matter world cup is held it is not an easy thing to win a world just don't through mud at each other since all those mud will be thrown at Asia and I am sure western countries would be laughing and watching this uncivilized nature of proud of your team and support them in theire good time as well as bad times.hope Asia could rule cricket world and Sri Lanka can be a important part of it.

  • ranuk on August 4, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Not "dropped catches" , If SL drop "Malinga & IPL clan" we would have watched a better series eventhough we were on loosing course.Shame you guys!

  • shaantanu on August 4, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    @Pravash1985:Changing your tunes now that the series is gone.....i dont know abt u but most SLs had boasted of a 5-0 or 4-1 trashing of wasnt even 3-2......Indians are sloggers and can play on flat tracks only.In that case Sls cant even bat on flat tracks.So sad

  • JayJ404 on August 4, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Oh common Angelo You learnt this break excuse from Indians I suppose.. So stop playing IPL then you will get nearly three months break ya... Grow up my friend... Tell your captain Mahela that you can not win aginst India if you are going to bat first because they have confidence to chase even if we score 350 +... We gave that confidence to them now find a way to kill it, till then let them to bat first and try to chase what ever the score they gonna put on...

  • Sinhaya on August 4, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @Venki_indian, Sri Lanka have won more tests against Pakistan in Pakistan more than India. Forgot that? We have 6 test wins in Pakistan and you all have only 4.

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