Ahead of the all-important match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on Monday, Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews spoke at the pre-match press conference and stated that his contribution to the side is important and he strives to do the same in all three aspects of the game.
Speaking to the reporters, Mathews said,”You know, I think, even though I’m the captain of the team, I’ve always tried to contribute as a batter and a bowler and on the field because I’m another player when I get onto the field. So my contribution is also very important to the team. So I try my very best to try and concentrate on what I have to do rather than thinking about the captaincy and too many other things happening. So I’ve always focused on what I have to do the job at hand.”
On his fitness level, he said. “Yes, I’ve worked extremely hard, just like the others. It’s just I think through my experience I’m learning the game a bit more now. Yes, I’m slowly understanding the game a little bit better than what I used to. And, yes, I’m learning every day.
On the injury to Kusal Perera and his subsequent omission from the team, Mathews said, “It’s a shame to lose Kusal. He batted extremely well. Given the fact that he was — we brought him as the third opener, but he can bat in the middle as well. So he’s always that player who can bat anywhere in the batting lineup. So that gives us a lot of options.
On Dhananjaya he said, “Yeah, unfortunate that he’s gone back, but Dhananjaya de Silva is also a very good player, and we had to bring him to the squad because we are left with only seven batters at the moment. We haven’t still had a good look at the wicket. We’ll probably decide later on or, if not, tomorrow early morning to give ourselves a chance to just see what the wicket looks like tomorrow as well and then make a call. He has a good chance of playing, but we still haven’t decided.”