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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Cricket

On our day, we can beat any team: Angelo Mathews
PTI
Cardiff, June 19, 2013
First Published: 20:29 IST(19/6/2013)
Last Updated: 20:32 IST(19/6/2013)

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews exuded confidence as he stated that his team is physically and mentally ready for the challenge that will be posed a by formidable a Indian side led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

"India are a strong team to beat, but we are prepared physically and mentally," the young Lankan skipper told reporters in Cardiff on Wednesday afternoon.

For the talented all-rounder, it will be a big achievement if Sri Lanka are able to get past India on Thursday.

"We are aware of our poor record. It will be an achievement if Sri Lanka can beat India here tomorrow and on our day, we can beat any team in the world," Mathews said.

Just like his illustrious couhterpart Dhoni, the Lankan captain also doesn't believe in exacting revenge.

"In sport, there is no word called revenge," he said.

Thursday's semi-final at the Sophia Gardens is threatened by rain and in case of a wash-out, India will go through to the final in Birmingham on June 23.

Mathews said he was not even thinking about such a possibility as it is "out of our control".

Sri Lanka have a poor record to defend against India. After the 2011 World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium, which India won comfortably by six wickets, the Lankans have lost seven out of 10 matches against Dhoni's team. One match at the Adelaide Oval in February 2012, ended in a tie.

Mathews did admitted that a lot depends on the veteran troika of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan but juniors will also need to put their hands up in trying circumstances.

"They are the backbone of our batting but we have seven batsmen and young guys like (Dinesh) Chandimal and (Lahiru) Thirimanne are in good form," Mathews said.

"We can't depend on certain players. We have to work as a team and whoever gets set has to bat till the last. It's going to be a mix of Test and ODI batting as we have to keep things flexible," Mathews said.


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