Angelo Mathews feels Lakshan Sandakan will be their trump card in CT 2017

Angelo Mathews feels Lakshan Sandakan will be their trump card in CT 2017

"It's an opportunity for us to assess where we are. It's a kind of a mini World Cup," Mathews said.

Lakshan Sandakan Sri Lanka
Lakshan Sandakan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews is of the opinion that left-arm chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan will be a vital cog in Sri Lanka’s armoury during the Champions Trophy scheduled to be played in England and Wales from 1st June to 18th June. The limited overs team have left for England for an 8-day residential training camp at Kent. Following the camp, Sri Lanka will play a privately organised warm-up clash against Scotland followed by two more warm-up games for the tournament against Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Meanwhile, Mathews believes that the left-arm wrist spin which is relatively an unknown commodity in world cricket nowadays might unsettle a few batsman in the tournament. Though the youngster has only played in 6 ODI’s and hasn’t done anything significant, Mathews feels backing someone like Sandakan might work wonders for them in the near future. Despite not making a mark in the limited overs format yet, he played a pivotal part in Sri Lanka’s 3-0 triumph against Australia last August.

He will be our key

“Lakshan Sandakan is going to be our key. He is a bit of a mystery bowler and a lot of teams haven’t seen him. He can be a big threat during this tournament,” Mathews was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. It will be testing times for Sri Lanka given their horrendous run off late. They were whitewashed 3-0 and 5-0 in the Test and the ODI series respectively against South Africa.

“It’s an opportunity for us to assess where we are. It’s a kind of a mini World Cup. Every team is determined and focused coming into this tournament. The object of everyone is to try and win it,” Mathews quipped. The captain across all 3 formats hasn’t played international cricket since January and it remains to be seen how he copes up with the difficulties and pressures in the champions Trophy.

“I am very much excited to get back to things. Even though I was at the IPL, the trainers and physios were in touch with me getting me to do certain amount of work. I joined the team for the residential camp in Kandy last week and I am looking forward to contributing in all three departments,” he added. He further expressed his happiness at the arrangements made by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board.

“I am very pleased with the arrangements that have been put in place,” Matthews said. “The board has allowed us to carry two additional players as well in Dilruwan Perera and Danushka Gunatilleke, just in case something happens. We have four warm-up games to help us to get used to the conditions. That allows us to sort out our combination for the competition.”

Mathews will be taking suggestions from Sangakkara

He further added that he will be taking suggestions from his first Test captain Kumar Sangakkara who has been in terrific form for Surrey. “Two of our first round games will be at The Oval and I am looking forward to meet Sanga and pick his mind on what to expect. Our coach Graham Ford also has spent a lot of time at The Oval as Surrey’s coach. They can contribute a lot for the team,” Mathews concluded.