Sri Lanka crashed out of Asia Cup 2018, losing to Bangladesh and Afghanistan in a matter of 3 days at the United Arab Emirates earlier this week. The five-time Asian Champs were dismantled by the Afghan spinners only to be bowled out for less than 150, not once but two times in a row.
Disappointed particularly by the lack commitment displayed on the field, fans criticised and conveyed their frustration on social media, to an extent where a few urged Mathews to step down.
In spite of all, Angelo Mathews apologized and promised to put up a better performance in the home series against England in October 2018.
“This was shocking from the whole team. Even in the first game, we got all out for 150-odd. Congratulations to Afghanistan as they outplayed us. We played better cricket in the later parts of the South Africa series. Just disappointing to see the way the boys went about it. We couldn’t handle pressure. Not passing 150 on both occasions is very shocking and disappointing,” said the Sri Lankan captain.
What has happened, has happened and disappointment or frustration will not change the end result. Therefore, it’s important to take the positives and put extra effort into the home series against England, only a few weeks away.
After the game, Kumar Sangakkara urged the selectors to play Kusal Mendis at No.4 and Mahela Jayawardena was quick to ask frustrated fans to back the team in times of crisis.
“Looking at all the social media jokes and criticism on the SL team.. yes they played poorly but let’s not get personal. It’s a sport. More soul searching to do and find solutions. That’s the way forward,” tweeted Jayawardena.
Meanwhile, T M Dilshan (42) agreed that he may even return to international cricket to save the side from further collapse if required.
“I continue to play my domestic cricket. Hence, it is not a challenge for me to return to the international side again. I always think of my country. I presume I did my best in cricket prior to my retirement. However, I am of the opinion that I should do something more for my country,” said Dilshan to Daily Mirror.
Rangana Herath will play his final Test series in a couple of weeks and it’s an ideal opportunity for the boys to bounce back and reclaim authority. The tour will kick off with ODIs and a series win against the world no.1 side is what Sri Lanka should focus on producing.
Sri Lanka will take on England in the 1st ODI on the 10th of October 2018.
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