Mathews Ready to Bowl in Second Test
By Mustaq Sydeen
Former skipper and all-rounder Angelo Mathews is ready to contribute with the ball in the upcoming second Test against England starting 22 January in Galle. He said this during a pre-match virtual conference conducted by SLC yesterday.
“Coach already discussed with me regarding my bowling, whether I can contribute with 7-8 overs, and I believe I can definitely do it since I have bowled in ODI’s and T20’s in the recent past. They are not expecting 15-20 overs from me, just 7-8 overs, and I’m looking forward to bowl, and contribute with the bat too.”
The 33-year-old, who has been battered by injuries throughout his career, has not bowled in a Test match in the recent past due to concerns about the physical toll from his workload across all three formats.
The former skipper also praised the visitor’s brilliant bowling attack, especially paceman Stuart Broad, who was able to swing the ball on a pitch which was not offering much to a fast bowler.
“Everyone knows what sort of bowler Broad is – he has taken over 500 Test wickets. Take a look at the wickets he has taken. He is among the finest quick bowlers going round on any sort of pitch. The wicket in Galle was not providing anything for the quick bowlers; however, he was swinging the ball. During one of his spells, I felt like I was batting in England as he was swinging the ball a great deal. That is very tough for a quick bowler to do in these circumstances in Galle.”
“Even the spinners did not give anything away,” Mathews further stated. “They did not offer any freebies. Although the wicket was turning, they made a concerted effort to take wickets. They maintained a good line and length and we made a variety of errors by attempting to be too aggressive early in our innings off good balls, and paid the price.”
Sri Lanka put up a much-disciplined batting performance in the second innings than they did in the first, when they were bundled out for a paltry 135 in two sessions, to score 359 and avoid the humiliation of an innings defeat. Their strong resistance left England the formal task of scoring 74 for victory, which the visitors achieved quite comfortably.
Mathews went on to make a fighting 71 runs in the second innings, while the rest of the batsmen failed, except opener Lahiru Thirimanne, who was the top scorer with a brilliant century.
“The way I play is completely different to a Dinesh Chandimal, a Kusal Perera or a Niroshan Dickwella. We have got to be reasonably confident with our scoring strokes than attempt to copy another batsman. Joe Root’s was an impressive innings and we can learn a lot from the way he batted. Generally, the strokes he played we won’t play. We’d like to have the ability to perceive what we are able to do and what we can’t do on these wickets against their bowlers,” said Mathews.