South Africa in Sri Lanka 2013 July 17, 2013

Mathews wants SL youngsters to emulate seniors

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Though Sri Lanka continue to perform satisfactorily in limited-overs tournaments, recent assignments in the Champions Trophy and the West Indies have helped make plain the challenges the side faces over the next two years. In both tournaments Sri Lanka leaned heavily on their experienced batsmen while the young talent largely failed to produce dividends for the considerable faith that has been afforded them.

Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan were the team's top scorers in the UK, with Lahiru Thirimanne, who made only 73 runs at 24.33, the best among the rest. Sangakkara and Jayawardene were also among Sri Lanka's top scorers in the Caribbean, while Dilshan's replacement Upul Tharanga led the list, thanks largely to a score of 174 not out.

All three seniors privately hope to continue at the top level until at least the 2015 World Cup, but have maintained in public that their time in the game is largely subject to form and fitness. With all three over 35, the national selectors had embarked on building a team for the future, but with Sri Lanka's young players unable to produce the kinds of innings their team can compile totals around, the home series against South Africa shapes as health-check for Sri Lankan cricket.

"We've done well in patches in the last two months, and when we did that it was the seniors that stepped up - guys like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene," captain Angelo Mathews said. "They've carried a lot of the burden and we need that experience in the side but what the youngsters need to do is look at how those guys prepare and how they focus and we all have to get that mindset right. It comes through experience, but the amount of matches the younger guys have played, they have some good experience now as well. We need to fine tune our performances.

"We need to have that mindset where you think you can be the next Mahela and think you can be the next Kumar. It comes with experience and a lot of hard work."

Plenty is expected of Dinesh Chandimal and Thirimanne, and it is the former's recent inability to make good on his initial limited-overs promise that has been most dispiriting for Sri Lanka's future hopes. Chandimal averages 18.19 in the last 16 months since the tour of Australia, having hit only two fifties in 28 ODIs. He has been given a sustained run in the top order after becoming vice-captain in February, but his place in the side is in question even as he prepares for the prospect of captaining the team in the first two matches against South Africa, in Mathews' absence due to an over-rate suspension.

"We all know how good a cricketer Dinesh Chandimal is and he doesn't become a bad player just because he has been unsuccessful in two tournaments - which can happen to any cricketer," Mathews said. "He is the vice-captain and he deserves his place. I am sure he will be among the runs soon, and if the selectors make him captain, he will do it well."

Thirimanne has not yet made his place safe either, but he has produced promising innings in the recent tournaments, despite being the first batsman to be moved around the order as the team's requirements change. His 57 in the Champions Trophy match against Australia set the foundation for Jayawardene's sparkling innings, and a 46 in the tri-series final against India helped Sangakkara build what would become a competitive total.

"Lahiru is one of our best up-and-coming players because he has never said no to anything. He always just gets on with the job even when it was hard work. We've sent him in when we were in trouble in England as well as in the West Indies, and he has responded brilliantly. He's got great character, and we need that.

"He has the potential to bat at number three in the long term. He has the composure, he's very calm and he makes good decisions. He's showed a lot of maturity and he's got a long future. I'm sure he can be the next Sangakkara."

Mathews played himself into some form in the Caribbean and more confidence in both disciplines has had a positive impact on his captaincy, he said. Mathews averaged 49.66 with the bat and 17.57 with the ball in the tri-series.

"When you're contributing to the team in any way, that does a lot of good for your captaincy. As an allrounder, it's especially good to get both wickets and runs and that helps you earn respect in the team as well."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Natx on | July 17, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I like Thirimanne. He may not have all the strokes but what he has shown in some of the matches is guts to stand up and be able to build innings. An innings against Aus comes to mind. Chandimal started well but is rather quiet over the last 6-8 months. Selectors need to stick with these two guys for a while and give them a run to learn the ropes and become better cricketers. Matthews need to get better in batting especially test matches. He seems to run out of patience and his Twenty20 skills often get him in trouble. If he can consistently score 40-50 runs and chips in with couple of wickets, he can be a real value add to team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    just leave Chandimal out.. he deserve that. no point of giving captaincy for this guy.. pls try Angelo Perera..

  • POSTED BY on | July 21, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Thirimanne is a batsman who cant hit the gaps to get singles and he cant hit sixes or fours..He has very limited array of strokes..No question about his temperament or mental toughness..But do we need a guy who can help us out when we are 4 or 5 for 50-60, or do we groom someone like Angelo Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage or Niroshan Dickwella? These guys can be match winners..Thirimanne should be a Tests Only player..

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 19, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    When Arjuna, Aravinda were retiring we thought our Cricket was over and then Kumar and Mahela rose to the occasion. Same thought we're having now that when Sanga and Jayawardena retires - our cricket will be over. Be patient guys. Mathews, Thirimanne & Chandimal will rise up when it matters the most.

  • POSTED BY Gowza on | July 19, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    kusal perera is the future

  • POSTED BY C0l0mb0 on | July 18, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    before being next sanga, thiri need to be a member of 1st 11. at the moment he can go out any time.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | July 18, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    According to kp Cook will surpass Sachin in tests...according to Matthews thirimanne is the next sangakkara...wow

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    @ matchfixer, Had Sri Lanka played the finals of World Cup & World cup T20 with Bangladesh or Zimbabwe?? If Sri Lanka are so bad why other teams failed to come in to finals? Sri Lanka has enough talents in batting, fast bowling and spin bowling. Wait and see others rising up to replace seniors as players like Aravinda, Arjuna, Murali etc. have been replaced and still able to fight at the top at least one dayers and T20s.

  • POSTED BY mark2011 on | July 18, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    @Posted by matchfixerpkn on (July 18, 2013, 6:24 GMT); get ur facts right.. Chandimal has done well in fast tracks...in Eng,aus etc.. he made brave ODI 100 in Lords againt strong english pace attack... in fact he failed in flat tracks.... its a matter of tuime that he paases out of this lean patch which is common for any crickter....

  • POSTED BY Sanjaya207 on | July 18, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    It is time to Congratz Mathews ,for his new life..

  • POSTED BY Natx on | July 17, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I like Thirimanne. He may not have all the strokes but what he has shown in some of the matches is guts to stand up and be able to build innings. An innings against Aus comes to mind. Chandimal started well but is rather quiet over the last 6-8 months. Selectors need to stick with these two guys for a while and give them a run to learn the ropes and become better cricketers. Matthews need to get better in batting especially test matches. He seems to run out of patience and his Twenty20 skills often get him in trouble. If he can consistently score 40-50 runs and chips in with couple of wickets, he can be a real value add to team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    just leave Chandimal out.. he deserve that. no point of giving captaincy for this guy.. pls try Angelo Perera..

  • POSTED BY on | July 21, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Thirimanne is a batsman who cant hit the gaps to get singles and he cant hit sixes or fours..He has very limited array of strokes..No question about his temperament or mental toughness..But do we need a guy who can help us out when we are 4 or 5 for 50-60, or do we groom someone like Angelo Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage or Niroshan Dickwella? These guys can be match winners..Thirimanne should be a Tests Only player..

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 19, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    When Arjuna, Aravinda were retiring we thought our Cricket was over and then Kumar and Mahela rose to the occasion. Same thought we're having now that when Sanga and Jayawardena retires - our cricket will be over. Be patient guys. Mathews, Thirimanne & Chandimal will rise up when it matters the most.

  • POSTED BY Gowza on | July 19, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    kusal perera is the future

  • POSTED BY C0l0mb0 on | July 18, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    before being next sanga, thiri need to be a member of 1st 11. at the moment he can go out any time.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | July 18, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    According to kp Cook will surpass Sachin in tests...according to Matthews thirimanne is the next sangakkara...wow

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    @ matchfixer, Had Sri Lanka played the finals of World Cup & World cup T20 with Bangladesh or Zimbabwe?? If Sri Lanka are so bad why other teams failed to come in to finals? Sri Lanka has enough talents in batting, fast bowling and spin bowling. Wait and see others rising up to replace seniors as players like Aravinda, Arjuna, Murali etc. have been replaced and still able to fight at the top at least one dayers and T20s.

  • POSTED BY mark2011 on | July 18, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    @Posted by matchfixerpkn on (July 18, 2013, 6:24 GMT); get ur facts right.. Chandimal has done well in fast tracks...in Eng,aus etc.. he made brave ODI 100 in Lords againt strong english pace attack... in fact he failed in flat tracks.... its a matter of tuime that he paases out of this lean patch which is common for any crickter....

  • POSTED BY Sanjaya207 on | July 18, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    It is time to Congratz Mathews ,for his new life..

  • POSTED BY DumithDsilva on | July 18, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    SLC Selectors got wrong decision why name Chandimal as the captain? Why not Upul Tharanga? Tharanga has done very well for Sri Lanka..Tharanga is NCC captain

  • POSTED BY Rambo-123 on | July 18, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Its high time to change our batting coach......

  • POSTED BY Otuwa on | July 18, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    @matchfixerpkn-Yes Bangladesh team has helped a lot to legends.Remember???They helped to an Indian legend for reach his 100th milestone????Otherwise he is still in 99th milestone........

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    we were seeeking for next roy dias. then aravina, then murali n vass also arjuna, sanath. now sanga n mahela. those legends can be relaced. but chandi, lahiru, anjelo perera n amthews, thisara will play a big role in future of sri lankan cricket. let them grow slowly.those will make the mark..all the best

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | July 18, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Mathews is bang on target..chandimal is equally good as sangakara against Bangladesh and match inside sri lanka in flat track..any way to reach level of sangakara srilanka must play more an more matches against Bangladesh and zimbawe etc etc ..so that he can score runs like sangakra a and jayavardane..

  • POSTED BY ghtvnath on | July 18, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    As much as it's frustrating to see the youngsters struggling to make runs, we should look back at 2003 world cup where Mahela and Sangakkara were at their young age and frustrated us the same way. How much we blamed the board for sticking with Mahela when he only score 17 or 18 runs in the whole tournament and how much we disliked Sanga for missing stumping change of Andrew Symonds and running Aravinda out. So lets give them some time and we will soon forget these days and will regard them as our heroes. Sri Lanka never run out of class cricketers, line of Aravinda, Jayasuriya, Mahela, Vaas and now Malinga, Mahela, Sangakkara shows just that.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 18, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    @lukecannon: Spot on mate! Can't agree anymore! It is sad that selectors don't understand the game as atelast as you & I understand.

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | July 18, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    @Otuwa: Spot on you friend! I feel sorry for people who come and comment here who don't understand atleast the basics of Cricket.

  • POSTED BY Rambo-123 on | July 18, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Its good to focus on youngsters, I think they should be train to be strong mentally and physically. And specially we should look for another Batting Coach, always we fail in our batting. The authorities please look into this..... ALL THE BEST for the upcoming South African serious.

  • POSTED BY on | July 18, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    It is nothing but the damn IPL that has ruined our players. None of them perform as they can, should. Yes players do go out of form but they do not become bad players. It is so evident how well some of our players perform at the IPL and how poor they perform when they play for their mother country. Money is not everything they must never forget their origins. I am gland the SPL is not going to take off this year. I wish the same for all the PLS and players internationally get back to representing their countries without getting up to mischief like match fixing etc.

  • POSTED BY PadMarley on | July 18, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Thankfuly when Murali, Sanga, Mahela and Sanath entering international cricket, no one made them "Next who ever" !!! Stop doing this to youngsters!!

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 17, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    This young srilankan players are not physically strong. Thats the problem. They all fail if they do not bulk up with muscle.

  • POSTED BY SL_Boy on | July 17, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Mubarak was the best players we have right now, he will fill the #6 position ... guys check WI tour all young guns were thereā€¦ it is not a very productive one, except Suranga Lakmal

    I was very disappointed with AK Perera, he did really poor in WI and even Bangaladash T20 also, if they can't performed list A level should not pick for National side. Chandi is really luckey to have his place.

    I also like Upal Tharanga for future Caption, He is calm and if he is in the crease you dont have the feeling he will be out soon

  • POSTED BY SachithN on | July 17, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    SL youngsters need to be given a chance to bat up the order,in order to evolve successfully.Sanga and Mahela bat up the order vry successfully,yes but need to make sacrifices for the future.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Thirimanne is no where near Sangakkara even at the time Sanga entered the international scene. He does not know how to rotate the strike and when he comes to bat after a fall of few early wickets all he does is play a lot of dot balls and waste time. Chandimal has proved his worth at test level but not in shorter format. It was a big mistake to appoint him as T20 captain. Now even if he does not contribute he will remain in the team. Even Angelo was appointed captain before he could reach "world class" level. He is just an average batsman who can bowl few overs in test cricket. I guess selectors had no other option. Kusal Perera has to sort out his technical deficiencies firstly. Just playing some Sanath Jayasuriya type strokes will not make him a great batsman.

  • POSTED BY Otuwa on | July 17, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @vnotz-I agree his test bowling average is not good at all.But his batting avg is 40+.It's not a bad avg as a num6 batsman at all.

    When he comes to the ODI format i can't agree with you at all.30+ bowling avg is not a bad avg as a allrounder.Players like Shane Watson,Great Kallis have 30+ bowling avg and they are represent your TOP CRICKET TEAMS.And it's funny to see you called 34 batting avg is a bad avg.Players like Hafeez,Jadeja plays as a allrounders with below 32 batting avg.We can't expect 50+ batting avg and below 25 bowling avg from allrounders.

    Some players are trying to score hundreds at every time.But important thing is score for your country not for your career.Angelo has played usefull 70s and 80s at important times.Just enough.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 17, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    @Palla.Avinash I agree with you. We need to start giving them the opportunity before those senior players retire otherwise we would be left alone with a team that has no experience of pressure or high quality oppositions. Please give them a chance to bat up the order and take responsibility to build an inning. It will only do good for SL cricket.

  • POSTED BY MDCP on | July 17, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Angelo Perera is going to be the next Mahela Jayawardena for Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY vnotz on | July 17, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Strange that Mathews wants the team's youngsters to emulate Kumar & Mahela when his performances are average. I think Angelo himself would need to step it up if Sri lanka needs to go in the right direction. He has just one hundred and a poor batting average of 34 in odi. Add to this his bowling average of 73 & 33 in tests & odis resp. To be frank he is a bits & pieces player and would even struggle to get into the playing 11 of top cricket teams - like Australia/South Africa. This is really a worrying phase for Srilanka and going to remain the same for another3-4 years IMHO.

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | July 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I v got nothing against Thirimanne and Chandimal... But why name Chandimal as the captain? Why not Upul Tharanga? Tharanga has done very well for Sri Lanka.. Chief Selector Jayasuriya knows the value of Tharanga as he's shared the crease with him and watched him deliver the goods for the country from the non-strikers end. Chandimal is too young.. and he's over confident. The way he played in the Carribean was quite awful as the vice captain of a "national team". Either he doesnt care or he's taking his being in the team for granted. I think Kusal deserves another run. Dilly and Tharanga must open. Sangakkara at 3 . Mahela and Mathews should be the finishers. No room for both Thirimanne and Chandimal in the team. With Anjelo's absence they both should play and if possible Kusal too in the top order. When Anjelo comes back Chandimal should sit out as Thirimanne had made "some runs" however slow it might've been. Tharanga looked good against SA in SA the earlier tour. Good luck SRI LANKA!

  • POSTED BY WPDDESILVA on | July 17, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    No hope at all. Future looks bleak for SL Cricket. The problem with SL cricket is they give so called youngsters an extended run that no country will ever allow. Prime example is Kapugedara. Chandimal is slowly following in his steps and to call him a vice captain is a joke. I cannot even begin to stress how important Mahela, Kumar, Dilshan, Malinga are for SL Cricket. These guys alone carry the pride of the country around the world. It's ok not to perform in 3 - 5 games but consistently to deliver poor results is unacceptable. Bowlers are extremely terrible, Shaminda Eranga, I mean really? Kusal? What a failure and no common sense at all. He tries to hit every single ball out of the park! Seriously why can't they just think? These guys continue to perform badly because they know there're NO CONSEQUENCES. They won't get dropped infact they get awarded the vice captaincy. Do you think England, India or any other team will tolerate poor performance? Also you need to pay per performances!

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | July 17, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    @spas : Good point you made coz I was about to point it out. SL's problem is that they want their youngsters to be exactly like their retired players and legends. I recall many commentators and even SL fans claiming Kusal Perera to be the next Jayasuriya and he obviously failed to do so when they experimented him up the order. I think he would've done better if they just let him be where he was batting when he made his debut.

    Players like Jayawardene and Sangakkara are extraordinary and unique in their own way and attempting to replicate them shows that SL team management might not have enough faith in their young blood to display their unique talents.

  • POSTED BY palla.avinash on | July 17, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Sl needs to rest one of the their best players give jayawardene rest in this series and ask junior players to score all the runs and see how they perform ,they might be under pressure but they will come up as there will no choice but score runs to make sl and they wont look at jayawardene and sangkara resting one of the these in every series will put pressure some times pressure wll bring out best performances and confidence to score them best of sl selectors please rest one of jayawardene and sangakara in series until some one rise.it is time for sacrifice of matches for future.

  • POSTED BY Otuwa on | July 17, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    When Sanga's early days his strike rate was really slow and didn't rotate the strike regulary.But later he became allround ODI batsman.Nowadays Thirimanne's strike rate also painful to see.But he should improve his rotation of strike like Sanga.Otherwise he will become speciallist test batsman like Samaraweera.Let see........

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | July 17, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    What I've noticed with this SL lineup is that while their top order batting looks very secure, they have "always" struggled to find a consistent middle order batsman who can capitalise on the good starts built by the openers. The best they have right now is the skipper Mathews and yet even he gets criticised for bad performances. SL are missing that flamboyant middle order batsman who can also act as a good finisher.

    The reason India keep beating SL is because they have that one player like MS Dhoni who can finish games off in style. If SL produce a similar kind of player, they could be dangerous in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY spas on | July 17, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Why would SL expect young players to be next Sangakkara (or MJ or Dilshan or Malinga). Some years back all expected SL to find another Arjuna or Aravinda for a successful SL team. But Sanga, MJ and Dilshan, being themselves were able to build a strong SL batting line up. Let the youngsters be themselves (e.g. Kusal Perera), and to be part of different & successful future SL team.

  • POSTED BY spas on | July 17, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Why would SL expect young players to be next Sangakkara (or MJ or Dilshan or Malinga). Some years back all expected SL to find another Arjuna or Aravinda for a successful SL team. But Sanga, MJ and Dilshan, being themselves were able to build a strong SL batting line up. Let the youngsters be themselves (e.g. Kusal Perera), and to be part of different & successful future SL team.

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | July 17, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    What I've noticed with this SL lineup is that while their top order batting looks very secure, they have "always" struggled to find a consistent middle order batsman who can capitalise on the good starts built by the openers. The best they have right now is the skipper Mathews and yet even he gets criticised for bad performances. SL are missing that flamboyant middle order batsman who can also act as a good finisher.

    The reason India keep beating SL is because they have that one player like MS Dhoni who can finish games off in style. If SL produce a similar kind of player, they could be dangerous in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY Otuwa on | July 17, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    When Sanga's early days his strike rate was really slow and didn't rotate the strike regulary.But later he became allround ODI batsman.Nowadays Thirimanne's strike rate also painful to see.But he should improve his rotation of strike like Sanga.Otherwise he will become speciallist test batsman like Samaraweera.Let see........

  • POSTED BY palla.avinash on | July 17, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Sl needs to rest one of the their best players give jayawardene rest in this series and ask junior players to score all the runs and see how they perform ,they might be under pressure but they will come up as there will no choice but score runs to make sl and they wont look at jayawardene and sangkara resting one of the these in every series will put pressure some times pressure wll bring out best performances and confidence to score them best of sl selectors please rest one of jayawardene and sangakara in series until some one rise.it is time for sacrifice of matches for future.

  • POSTED BY andrew27994 on | July 17, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    @spas : Good point you made coz I was about to point it out. SL's problem is that they want their youngsters to be exactly like their retired players and legends. I recall many commentators and even SL fans claiming Kusal Perera to be the next Jayasuriya and he obviously failed to do so when they experimented him up the order. I think he would've done better if they just let him be where he was batting when he made his debut.

    Players like Jayawardene and Sangakkara are extraordinary and unique in their own way and attempting to replicate them shows that SL team management might not have enough faith in their young blood to display their unique talents.

  • POSTED BY WPDDESILVA on | July 17, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    No hope at all. Future looks bleak for SL Cricket. The problem with SL cricket is they give so called youngsters an extended run that no country will ever allow. Prime example is Kapugedara. Chandimal is slowly following in his steps and to call him a vice captain is a joke. I cannot even begin to stress how important Mahela, Kumar, Dilshan, Malinga are for SL Cricket. These guys alone carry the pride of the country around the world. It's ok not to perform in 3 - 5 games but consistently to deliver poor results is unacceptable. Bowlers are extremely terrible, Shaminda Eranga, I mean really? Kusal? What a failure and no common sense at all. He tries to hit every single ball out of the park! Seriously why can't they just think? These guys continue to perform badly because they know there're NO CONSEQUENCES. They won't get dropped infact they get awarded the vice captaincy. Do you think England, India or any other team will tolerate poor performance? Also you need to pay per performances!

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | July 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I v got nothing against Thirimanne and Chandimal... But why name Chandimal as the captain? Why not Upul Tharanga? Tharanga has done very well for Sri Lanka.. Chief Selector Jayasuriya knows the value of Tharanga as he's shared the crease with him and watched him deliver the goods for the country from the non-strikers end. Chandimal is too young.. and he's over confident. The way he played in the Carribean was quite awful as the vice captain of a "national team". Either he doesnt care or he's taking his being in the team for granted. I think Kusal deserves another run. Dilly and Tharanga must open. Sangakkara at 3 . Mahela and Mathews should be the finishers. No room for both Thirimanne and Chandimal in the team. With Anjelo's absence they both should play and if possible Kusal too in the top order. When Anjelo comes back Chandimal should sit out as Thirimanne had made "some runs" however slow it might've been. Tharanga looked good against SA in SA the earlier tour. Good luck SRI LANKA!

  • POSTED BY vnotz on | July 17, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Strange that Mathews wants the team's youngsters to emulate Kumar & Mahela when his performances are average. I think Angelo himself would need to step it up if Sri lanka needs to go in the right direction. He has just one hundred and a poor batting average of 34 in odi. Add to this his bowling average of 73 & 33 in tests & odis resp. To be frank he is a bits & pieces player and would even struggle to get into the playing 11 of top cricket teams - like Australia/South Africa. This is really a worrying phase for Srilanka and going to remain the same for another3-4 years IMHO.

  • POSTED BY MDCP on | July 17, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Angelo Perera is going to be the next Mahela Jayawardena for Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 17, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    @Palla.Avinash I agree with you. We need to start giving them the opportunity before those senior players retire otherwise we would be left alone with a team that has no experience of pressure or high quality oppositions. Please give them a chance to bat up the order and take responsibility to build an inning. It will only do good for SL cricket.