Sri Lanka began their tour of New Zealand on an extremely somber note, as wicketkeeper Kusal Perera was sent back home after testing positive to a banned substance. Before Perera, it was pace spearhead Dhamikka Prasad, who had to miss the tour due to an injury. However, in order to inspire his side, skipper Angelo Mathews has taken the onus upon himself to deliver with the ball and lead from the front.
“I might have to bowl a few overs especially when it’s seaming. I actually don’t mind bowling quite a few overs when it’s seaming, because I feel I can take quite a few wickets. Hopefully all goes well. I’m just staying focused and looking to perform myself,” Mathews said.
Mathews spoke about veteran spinner Rangana Herath and said, “Herath’s always been an attacking bowler for us, but the conditions might change his role. If you’re playing as a spinner in the first couple of days, you have to play a holding role. It’s all about bowling in partnerships. You see what the wicket can do and what the conditions offer you. Then if it changes, you can change gears.”
Backing Chandimal to keep wickets, Mathews said, “Chandimal will bat at No. 4. The best batters should bat up the order regardless. Kumar Sangakkara has been doing that in the past six or seven years, batting at no. 3. I’m sure Chandimal will take that opportunity and bat at no. 4. “We’ve all known Chandimal over the past few years, and we know what he can do. He’s going to play a massive part in this tour. He’s the only batsman after me who has got some experience under his belt, so hopefully he can deliver,” Mathews noted.