Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Angelo Mathews conceded that the string of defeats his side has suffered has had a “damaging” effect on their morale ahead of the ICC World T20 in India starting next week.
“It’s quite damaging, especially for the confidence level and the morale. You can’t keep losing, it’s difficult to digest. We haven’t played our best yet and the most worrying thing is that we haven’t clicked as a batting order so close to the World T20. We have to connect the dots and maybe try a few combinations,” an upset Mathews said after losing to India by five wickets on Tuesday night.
While Lasith Malinga is the T20 captain and Mathews is the leader in the other two formats, it was evident from his answers that he is certainly not happy with the team that has been selected.
When a specific question was asked about a horribly out-of-form Tillekaratne Dilshan, Mathews’s disappointment was evident in his reply.
“I think everybody hits a rough patch, and he (Dilshan) has had a few rough patches here and there. We all need to take responsibility. Not just the seniors. The selectors and the captain have picked a squad which they think is good. So we have to try and go out there with the available squad. We need to have faith in them and move forward,” Mathews said.
The key to India’s success in T20, according to Mathews, has been identifying the core group of players and then forming a winning combination with it.
“Indians have been playing really good cricket in the past couple of years. They have been patient and sticking to a squad they thought was going to be their team for the World Cup,” Mathews said.
“That’s what you’ve got to do, stick with a team and be patient. Be patient with whoever you pick without chopping and changing too much, especially before the Asia Cup and World Cup. You have to be ready to go. You have to chop and change and check combinations before.”