If early exit from ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was not enough, Sri Lanka touched a new low on Monday as they lost the five-match ODI home series against Zimbabwe 2-3 on Monday. Skipper Angelo Mathews termed the series defeat as “one of the lowest points” of his career. Mathews did hint that he may not be in charge during 2019 World Cup and the recent series loss has certainly invited more scrutiny.
“It’s one of the lowest points in my career, and a hard one to swallow,” Mathews was quoted by ESPNCricinfo. “Everything went against us, from the toss to misreading the wicket. But there are no excuses. At the end of the day we were not good enough to beat them. They played better cricket.”
Under Mathews leadership, Sri Lanka’s two notable wins came in the away series against England and the home Test series against Australia but they have found going tough in ODIs since the last World Cup. The only wins came over Ireland and West Indies and the team tasted defeats against Pakistan, Australia and now a lower-ranked Zimbabwe. The all-rounder is yet to give a thought about stepping down as captain and wants to give more time.
“Still haven’t thought about stepping down,” he said. “There’s time. I’ll give it a bit more thought and talk to the selectors. I haven’t decided anything yet.”
It has been a very inconsistent year for Sri Lanka this year as they are yet to win a series. The losses continue to pile up and Mathews felt only way to bounce back is by winning games.
“We have not been consistent,” Mathews said. “The pressure is on all of us. The more we lose, the more pressure we are under. There is no solution for that and the only solution is winning. We try to win games, but we commit too many mistakes.”
The skipper lauded team’s batting in the last four games but felt they were awful in the decider.
“We did well with the bat in the last four games, but this game we were awful with the bat. If we could have got to 235, we could have done well. It was a flop today. There was some turn for the spinners in the beginning, but our eventual score wasn’t enough. We have a lot of improvements to make.”
Before the big series against India, Sri Lanka host Zimbabwe in the one-off Test.
“We have an India series coming up, but before that, we have the Test against Zimbabwe to talk about. The Indian series will be even tougher. In a small period we have to fix our problems. As a team we did do the training, but nothing is working in the middle.”