Mathews can be in Kohli’s class –Hathuru | Sunday Observer

Mathews can be in Kohli’s class –Hathuru

11 November, 2018
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews celebrates his half century (AP Photo by Eranga Jayawardena)
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews celebrates his half century (AP Photo by Eranga Jayawardena)

If there was one positive that came out of Sri Lanka’s 211-run defeat at the hands of England in the first cricket Test at the Galle International Stadium it was the form displayed by former captain Angelo Mathews.

Mathews was the only batsman to contribute to Sri Lanka’s two dismissal innings of 203 and 250 scoring back to back fifties.

Mathews was making a comeback to the Sri Lanka side after being dropped on grounds of his fitness for the five ODIs and the one-off T20I against England that preceded the current three-match Test series.

“I am very happy with the way he contributed, the way he applied himself. The commitment he had for running between the wickets and for batting overall,” said Hathurusingha who was also partly responsible for keeping Mathews out of the one-day matches being a member of the national selection panel as well.

“I am sure he is the first one to say that two fifties is not enough. He got a start and should have gone onto get a big one. We have seen him doing that before. He is the first one to be disappointed. Mathews coming into the runs is a good sign for us.”

In the current batting line up Mathews is the most experienced of the Sri Lankan batters with 78 Test appearances and an aggregate of 5178 (avg. 43.51) with eight hundreds.

“Angelo is very capable of getting his average above 50. He is a capable batsmen and one of the most experienced guys going around. Maybe injuries had made his average drop. He had a wonderful 2013 and 2014 before he started getting injuries. I thought that he was in Virat Kohli and Steve Smith’s level. He is capable to do that as a batsman. He has worked hard for eight months or so and I am just hoping for better things from him,” said Hathurusingha.

Since the Asia Cup where Mathews’ fitness and batting was found to be wanting Hathurusingha said there was a marked difference.

“I have seen him making him an effort of the way things we expect of him. He was very keen and very much involved with the team. He is coming back to full fitness.”

On his ability to resume bowling Hathurusingha said: “We have plans for him. We have discussed with him and he is starting bowling in two months time. We are probably looking to bring his workload up to the satisfactory mark before the New Zealand ODIs.”