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Angelo Mathews laments defeat at Johannesburg; calls it his worst defeat

Angelo Mathews News
Sri Lanka cricket team captain Angelo Mathews. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Angelo Mathews has been in the news lately following Pakistan’s demoralizing defeat at the hands of South Africa in Johannesburg. The Test was wrapped up in a matter of a few days following the capitulation of the Sri Lanka batting unit thereby putting the Lankans in a much worse situation in the elite Test level.

While their offer to play a follow-up Test series in South Africa in the sprig of 2018 is already being frowned upon even by the likes of Haroon Lorgat, it would seem as though Angelo Mathews has had to bear the brunt of the defeat as well, something most have conveniently put under the ‘Transition Period’. Mathews would go on to state that this was the worst defeat he has had as captain before going on to blame the batsmen for their terrible performance.

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“I have been part of many defeats but as captain this is certainly the worst,” Mathews said. “We kind of expected to do better than what we did. But there was no improvement.

“The batters were extremely disappointing – all the batters, including myself. All of us had got starts but didn’t convert them into big ones. That is disappointing. To give the bowlers a chance we need to put the runs on the board.”

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He also went on to add that there was certainly no issues with the way the Lankans prepared on the day.

“When it comes to preparation we did our best,” Mathews said. “We practiced on wickets with grass back in Sri Lanka too. We kind of expected we will get wickets with lot of grass. It’s not easy to prepare wickets like this in Sri Lanka, given the high humidity. Life goes on and we need to find a solution to compete well overseas. Maybe it’s an opportunity for Sri Lanka Cricket to leave bit of grass when we play domestic cricket at home.”

He said that there was simply no excuse for the way some of the senior batsmen batted. “If you look at our squad, only three guys had played in South Africa before. Guys like Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya are full of talent, but they need to be given a chance in these conditions. Playing four seamers in these conditions wasn’t easy. They will learn I am sure. It is a tough time and we need to hang in there as a team.”

“My kind of bowling is swing and seam. When the ball is new it’s good to come early. The coach and bowling coach told me to bowl early as I land it on the spot. I didn’t bowl for that long. Even if you bowl 60-odd overs, in these conditions, the shine is still there. Given the fact that the wicket was seaming and swinging – if you look at my economy rate and the way I beat the bat, you would understand why I bowl early.”

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