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'Embarrassing to not be competitive' - Mathews

Angelo Mathews, an increasingly forthright speaker, has virtually run out of ways to describe his team's failure against India in the five-match ODI series

Shaminda Eranga is disappointed as a catch is dropped, India v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Kolkata, November 13, 2014

Dropped chances have become a source of frustration for Sri Lanka's bowling unit  •  BCCI

So complete has India's dominance of Sri Lanka been this series that Angelo Mathews, an increasingly forthright speaker, has virtually run out of ways to describe his team's failure. For the fourth match in a row, Mathews said his team was outplayed in all three departments.
This loss was perhaps the most dispiriting match of the series for Sri Lanka's bowlers, who conceded 233 runs in the last 18 overs. Only Mathews had gone at less than seven an over, and the attack had shared only four wickets between them - one of India's dismissals having been a run out.
"In the second 25 overs they scored somewhere close to 270 runs and that is unacceptable," Mathews said. "That is where the match slipped away. Four-hundred is a humongous target. Our bowlers didn't have any answers for their batting. Nothing can be taken away from Rohit's brilliant knock, but we could have had more plans and executed them properly.
"You need to try and bluff. You can't bowl the same length and line for three or four overs - or even one over for that matter - on tracks like these. We haven't played this badly in the last six-eight months, when we've competed against top teams. We all know that in India it is tough, and we need to be more competitive to win against India."
Mathews also had harsh words for his batsmen, who combined, still fell 13 short of Rohit Sharma's 264. Sri Lanka lost four wickets in the first ten overs, then surrendered four more during the batting Powerplay - both of which have been themes in the series.
"Three-hundred was a cakewalk on this wicket. If we had wickets we could have at least got to 350. Unfortunately our openers haven't batted for five overs in this series, and that is a concern as well. We need to look at all these problems, address them soon, and get it fixed.
"We need to look at ways where we can score 300-plus and give our bowlers a chance. But if we are bowling first we need to restrict them to less than 350 to give ourselves a chance."
Sri Lanka have dropped straightforward catches throughout the series, but none so costly as the chance Thisara Perera fluffed off Rohit in the fifth over. Rohit would add 260 to his score following that spill at third man, and he would be dropped once more on 201, with another half chance going down a few overs later.
"It's embarrassing because we were not even competitive enough with the Indians in the last four games. Once again we were poor in the field. We let go of Rohit and it cost us the game. You can't let go of a brilliant player like that, and he showed us today how things need to be done when batting."
Though several players had seemed less than thrilled at the lack of preparation before this tour, Mathews said the poor performances had not been for a lack of effort.
"I think the intensity level has been good. In the past two games it has picked up a little bit. But I think the pressure has got to us. When we play against a team like India in India, there is pressure, and it is tough. We need to try and be a bit more positive and aggressive on the field - both the bowlers and also the fielders. Try and get that one run out, change the game, and grab that half chance. Our work ethic has been really good in the past week or so. It's not about the work - it's about executing on the field."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando