Following  Australian pacer, Mitchell Strac’s statement that the visitors would look to pile more pressure on Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews in the upcoming series, Mathews has said that he is ready for the fight.

After a winless tour of England, Mathew is under immense pressure to deliver in the home conditions. With stalwarts like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara retired, the Sri Lankan team is going through a transition  right now.  And the skipper insisted that the rebuilding phase will take time before yielding results.
“This rebuilding voyage is definitely long term,” Mathews told the Sri Lanka Cricket website. “It would be a progressive phasing of getting the right combinations in place. “You have two options. Either you run away from reality or stay and get your team back to winning ways.”

Mathews will be key to Sri Lanka’s chances in the series and Australian team has accepted that fact.

“He’d be under pressure after the English tour and as a captain, he’ll have to go through that pressure and perform as well,” Mitchell Starc told media yesterday.

“And that’s something that Steve (Smith) for us does really well. “He’s been fantastic as a captain and performed from the front as well, so no doubt we’ll put a lot of pressure on Angelo to firstly perform and for him he’s got to lead as captain.”

Sri Lanka’s track record against the visitors in Tests is very poor as they have registered only one  victory against them. Mathews, who was on the Sri Lankan team when Australia won the three-match Test series by 1-0 in Sri Lanka in 2011, said: “In 2011 we lost and we have to play to win this time.”

Mathews scored 274 runs at an astonishing average of 91.44 in 2011 and he would be looking to replicate that form. However, the all-rounder insisted that expectations of performing do not bother him.

“It is nice to have that pressure,” Mathews said.

“For life is all about pressure. It is nice for people to have expectations, but when you are the captain I don’t think much about expectations.

“Expectations are always there. You need to back your instincts as a player.”

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