Mathews and Oram both believe that their respective countries have the upper hand
Veteran New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram believes that the team possesses more than enough talent to defeat Sri Lank in front of their home fans.
Despite being knocked out in the super 8s stage of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, Oram feels that New Zealand will be looking for revenge in the one-off Twenty20 International at Pallekele tomorrow.
“We are not here to lose and we are not here to just make up the [numbers], we want to win, if we play well we are confident that we can win. We do appreciate that Sri Lanka is a very good side in their home conditions and more than a match for us at times, but we have enough talent. We come with young guys who have played only a handful of matches, and experienced ones with the likes of me, Kyle Mills, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum. We are hoping to balance our team with a bit of both. We’ve got to make sure the talent comes out at the right time,” Oram said.
James Franklin, another New Zealand all-rounder, believes that the team are now familiar with the conditions at Pallekele, and added that it should come in handy during the one-off Twenty20.
“Our last trip here was a few weeks ago [for the World T20], and the temperature and humidity hasn’t changed much. We are reasonably familiar with the grounds here. We play the first couple of games in Pallekele, where we were based during the World T20. It might take the new guys a few days to get used to conditions, but for the majority is a bit of a groundhog day being back in Sri Lanka,” Franklin said.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Sri Lanka Twenty20 captain Angelo Mathews will be sweating a bit ahead of the match since two of his most experienced players, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, have been rested.
However, despite not having two key players, Mathews was still confident about Sri Lanka’s chances of winning the match.
“The selectors wanted to give these two cricketers a rest. Their absence from the team is a big loss but with the squad I have been given, I am confident we can win, working under Mahela [Jayawardene] is a big learning curve because he is the best captain Sri Lanka has ever had. It is a privilege to be his vice-captain. The selectors thought that I was ready for it [the captaincy] so they gave me the job. I am excited,” Mathews said.
The one-off Twenty20 is set to be followed by five ODIs and two Test matches.