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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews termed his team’s over rate against South Africa in their opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday as ‘pathetic’.
He said that there was no excuse and the whole team was responsible behind it. Mathews, who did not play the match due to a calf strain, said that the team needs to back the captain after Upul Tharanga stepped in as the captain for the match.
In an interview to cricbuzz, Mathews said, “That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.”
“We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” Mathews further said.
On keeping Lakshan Sandakan out of the game, Mathews said, “It was a tough call on Lakshan. We expected his X-factor to work. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, he had four games lead up to the South Africa game where he didn’t bowl well apart from that second warm-up game against Scotland. He leaked a lot of runs, which he can do, but the problem was he wasn’t consistent with his line and length. You never know, he can bounce back and bounce back very strongly,” Mathews explained.
Mathews said that their batting let them down badly after they failed to play good cricket. He said that their next clash against India is a must win for them. “The expectations were low anyway, but we nearly pulled off the game against South Africa. Our batting let us down badly. One partnership in the middle period and we could have pulled it off. No point of giving excuses and we have to go out there and play good cricket. The game against India is must win game and they are a very good team,” he said.