Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews is hopeful that despite being a very young and inexperienced side, his side has the quality to challenge the in-form England side. However, the captain revealed that the weather will be the tourists’ biggest challenge in their forthcoming Test series against England.
Sri Lanka won a historic series when they visited England a couple of years ago, and the right-hander is confident of pulling off a similar performance, even with the odds stacked against them.
“The main challenge is going to be the weather for us initially. We’re preparing ourselves as well as we possibly can,” Mathews said.
Sri Lanka are without Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene following the pair’s retirement and have named uncapped duo Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva as part of their 17-man Test squad.
“Yes we don’t have Sangakkara and Mahela anymore, that we had in 2014, but we’ve got to move on, we’ve got to take on the challenge. I believe we can still win if we play to our potential.
“Most of the players haven’t played that much cricket in England, it’s going to be the first time for most of them. But we’re trying to acclimatise as soon as possible.
“We’ve got some fearless players in our side and that can be a plus for us. We’ll have to play really good cricket to beat England though.”
Talking about the 2014 series, he said that it was a memorable series and they will give their best to replicate that feat.
“The 2014 series is one moment we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We’d never won a Test series here before, so to do that was fantastic.
“If we can repeat that once again it would be ideal. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford, who is back for a second stint with the national side said that they are in England to win the series and believes that his side can do that.Graham Ford cut short his time with Surrey to rejoin the team.
“It was a really tough decision but nice to be back with the Sri Lankan boys and experience the wonderful fighting attitude that they have and their passion for the game,” Ford said.
“I think, first and foremost we are here to try to win the Test series and I believe we can do that.”
Talking about England’s superb form, Ford said that his team is expecting a very tough fight from the home side.
He said: “They have played fantastic cricket for a while now. They surprised some people in winning the Ashes convincingly but that certainly sent out a message as to what a good team they are. They played very well in South Africa too.
“But there’s no better way to grow a young team than to play against a really good outfit.”