Sri Lanka were a well beaten side in the 3-Test match series against England. A team in transformation, after the departure of two of their batting legends, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka still showed signs of improvement in the series. They might have been poor in the first Test at Headingley, and slightly more resilient in the second Test at Chester-le-Street, but they did show glimpses of their talent and ability in conditions that were tough for them to adjust with at first. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka will be a different team when they host Australia in a 3-Test series starting July 26, if Angelo Mathews words are to be believed.
With England pacer James Anderson in top-form, Sri Lanka were often left wondering how to survive at the wicket in the first two Tests. But that didn’t stop the likes of Kusal Mendis, Kaushal Silva and Dinesh Chandimal from delivering performances that displayed character and showed signs of improvement in a batting line-up that looked hollow most of the times. Meanwhile, the bowling department saw Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep step up to the task of taking wickets for the team. However, Dhammika Prasad’s presence in the series against Australia will certainly make the bowling look more potent.
Mathews felt that plenty of positives for the visitors from the just concluded Test series. He said – “There are lots of positives to come out of this series. The fast bowlers bowled extremely well right throughout the series. It was slightly difficult for them but still they had to bowl really well and they did. Rangana Herath, at 38, is also still going strong, he’s throwing himself around the field and it was great to see the oldest man in the team running around and diving for balls and stopping boundaries,” as quoted by cricket.com.au.
He added – “Also the way Mendis and Chandimal batted was pleasing. Yes we didn’t win the series but we can take a lot away from the way we played in this series.”
The Australia series will be a crucial one for Sri Lanka as the home side was beaten back in 2011 and therefore will be looking to take revenge this time around. Mathews said – “ I definitely feel we’ve improved and are in a better place for the Australia series. This was a learning curve for all our players – we are a really young team, inexperienced, but the way guys fought facing Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in challenging conditions, the way they batted and way they showed their guts was brilliant. Last time at home the Australians beat us back in 2011 and we are looking forward to the series. We definitely can make a massive difference if we play together as a unit and we believe we can do it.”