Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele

'Dropped catches have hurt Sri Lanka'- Mathews

Abhishek Purohit in Pallekele

August 3, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Thisara Perera attempts to take a catch, Sri Lanka v India, 1st ODI, Hambantota, July 21, 2012
Sri Lanka has dropped a number of catches at key moments in the series © Associated Press
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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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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...

Posted by   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.....

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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

Posted by 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...

Posted by 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.

Posted by Sinhaya on (August 4, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

@Venki_indian, you are wrong. India never beat Sri Lanka in a test series from 2001 to 2011 in Sri Lanka. You all lost a test series to Australia 2-1 in 2004, lost to South Africa 2-0 at home in 2000. Sri Lanka only lost test series at home in the last decade to Australia and Pakistan. No other nation beat us in a test series at home for the past many years. Pakistan are a great side and that was why they beat us 2-0 in 2000.

Posted by priceless1 on (August 4, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

funny that SL always brag about having the best fielding side in the ASIA but when in pressure situations ( which is what counts ) their fielding is worse in the world . atleast from now on they should labeled as the poorest fielding unit in the world

Posted by AshanRox on (August 4, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

The 3rd match India won because Senanayaka dropped Raina and too much inside and outside edges to the boundary. So India was very lucky that match. Im very Impressed with the Jeewan Mendis. It was a waste that Sri Lanka had Kapugedara for such a long time. And where is Chandimals aggressiveness??? He has changed his style, and it wont work for Sri lanka. He should learn from Aravinda de Silva who can hit a six even when the team has lost 4 wickets for 20 runs. He never changed his game and that made him a successful cricketer.

Posted by   on (August 4, 2012, 3:25 GMT)

@Ashker Enoon, read properly what Angie said in the article. He said "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."

So he may not give busy schedule as an excuse directly but indirectly he also speaks the importance of breaks.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (August 4, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

I believe your greatest finding in this series is Dinda. Dinda has a good future. He is cunning, like Wasim Akram. It's something Yadav didn't have at all.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (August 4, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

@Kapil Wadhwa: We Sri Lankans did not boast about a 5-0 win. We always thought it's a huge challenge to bowl to your sloggers on a flat surface, but we had strength, that is our fielding is better than typical indian. In this series, it was different. So, it's now gone. I always thought 3-2 win by Sri Lanka is what we can achieve at most, not because our team is below u, but because Sri Lankan conditions simply help the typical indian batting order.

It was Indians who always boasted, said this series is not even important to watch. Read the comments my dear friend.

Posted by indiaworldchamps2011 on (August 4, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

@jonathanjoceps... dude enough of this flat track myth... u say the pitch was flat indain bowlers are awful then how come we won . wasnt the pitch flat for everyone else and if the indian bowling is so pathetic y cudent they score big against us. we also won the CB series against australia and sri lanka in 2008 with almost the same team, won T20 world cup in south africa with a very very similar team. i agree that we wre pathetic in the last two series but that shudent take away all the gud work done in the last decade

Posted by Venki_indian on (August 4, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs between 2002 and 2011 India has won test series in England,NZ,Pak,WI,SL,BAN; Drawn test series in SA and AUS;Any other test playing nations left out? And we did not lose any series at home, Please do follow world cricket not only Srilanka Cricket; how many series SL lost at home and abroad? lol

Posted by Venki_indian on (August 4, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs Srilanka cannot play on flat track and fast tracks as well; last season only we had a bad overseas season check india's overseas record from 2001

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (August 4, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

@Ashker Enoon @johnathonjosephs: Dude if you think the great Lanka's have technique than you need to follow more cricket. If your cant bat on flat tracks how can you expect you batsman to bat in a seeming conditions - An example is 43 all out when Morkel, Steyn and Tsotsobe ripped apart the LANKA's batting line up. It is often easy to over look CONSTANT "MEOW" ing from LIONS for an occasional ROAR". I'm sure this december Aussies will have lots to cherish after they play LIONS (CATS) in their backyard.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 3, 2012, 22:58 GMT)

The problem is India has more Sloggers than real genuine batsman with actual technique. So on testing pitches, the Indian batting lineup will falter, but on flat conditions, there is no better batting lineup in the world. This won't help during the 2015 World Cup where it is taking place in Australia and New Zealand. Remember, the Indians got kicked out of the CB Series

Posted by   on (August 3, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

Where are all the SL fans who were predicting a 5-0 washout when the series started.

Posted by maddy20 on (August 3, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

Lack of singles is the biggest reason for failure of SL. They have scored more boundaries than India in nearly every game but their running b/w the wickets was dreadful. They have scored more boundaries than India in some of the games and still ended up with a below par score. Kohli on the other hand had only 7 boundaries in his run a ball hundred. He scored more boundaries only after crossing it.

Posted by JayJ404 on (August 3, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

You can not win a game with bunch of shelfish players who only trying to play stay in the team... Reason why guy like Kapu keeps on getting chances as you know if he clicks he wiil be a match winner like Virat.. Tell me how many batsmen can hit a six when it's really needed for the team in this sri lankan team... Tharanga, Chandimal & Thirimanna should never allow to bat after 35 overs as they don't have that aggresiveness in their so called talent....

Posted by JayJ404 on (August 3, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

Angelo you & Sanga really needs to learn how to play oneday international cricket... Sanga comes to waste balls at the bigining of the inning and you follow him at the end of the inning this cause so much of pressure on other batsmen so please don't waste the balls to settle in wicket at least rotate the strike... You beeter watch your game how you face the bowler when you come to bat there is no shots offer just blocking the ball will help Sri Lanka to loose the match... I want you to play like how you play in IPL... In those game if you blok the ball like you do these days you will be out for ever so be positive... 7 runs from 17 to 20 balls then get out doesn't make any sense...

Posted by woodhaven on (August 3, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

Drop mahela, all drop catch will be picked up.

Posted by coolitbaby on (August 3, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

@Ashker Enoon : Dhoni wins matches for India. Your "Angie" or Mahela are not going to win a damn thing :)

Posted by cricfan100 on (August 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Mathews dosen't have any right to give excuses,and also to defend chandimal when he himself is lacking consistency.Other than 3 or 4 extra ordinary efforts here and there he hasn't proved himself consistently.For an example after a marvelous knock in the 3rd odi how can you come up with 34 ball 14 in the next game to kill what ever the momentum sri lanka had at that moment.That too by playing a maiden against a part time bowler in the final few overs.India selected kholi as vice captain only after he performed consistently.But problem with sri lanka is only after one or two good performances they label youngsters as future greats,then those so called greats fail more often.this is what happened with mathews as well.Tharanga is another such player who lacks consistancy,certainly worse than mathews on that regard.Right now he seems to be the 12th player for the opposition with the kind of game he plays.Some how these players hold thier places while promising youngster even miss the bench

Posted by   on (August 3, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

Brilliant Angie.. Good see as a Vice Captain he is accepting mistakes and not citing lack of a break as an excuse.. If it was DHONI this article would have been full of excuses. :) !

Posted by Ajithlk on (August 3, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Srilanka lost in the planning. India are a batting side and Srilanka played the same old game without wanting to be attacking even when 1-2 down. When Sangakkara was injured, we had Thirimanne at 3. What we needed was to be daring and attack the Indian bowlers. Time and again we have seen in these kind of pitches the Indian batting line up are capable of 300 plus scores with considerable ease. So when Srilanka won the toss and also opted to bat, the plan had to be to try and score over 300 or close to that. The way he opted to start almost every innings, it was built for a max of 270 or around, which is not even close to enough. Nothing creative from Srilanka's think tank and hence the series is lost with nothing much gained.

Posted by goldeneye075 on (August 3, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Most importantly it is the whole game plan of sri lanka has cost the game.. Sri lanka has many good players but they lost the trick by not attacking the Indian bowlers, and the much needed acceleration didn't came in the middle overs to keep up the momentum. Change your game plan dude ;-)

Posted by Sinhaya on (August 3, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Spot on right Angelo. Please try to win tomorrow!

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