Mathews will be sticking to his aggressive batting style instead of trying to reinvent himself
Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews has declared that he will not change any aspect of his game despite being appointed as the country’s new Twenty20 captain.
Mathews was also quick to establish that being captain would not burden him in any way, nor would it affect his performance during matches.
Mathews has been vice-captain of the Twenty20 team since July 2011, but was promoted when Mahela Jayawardene stepped down after losing in the final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 to the West Indies.
“Because I am captain my game will not change. Whether you are captain or vice-captain you have a way of playing the game and that won’t alter because you have been given added responsibility,” Mathews said.
Mathews will now see an increase in his workload since it will be his responsibility to inspire his team-mates with both the bat and ball.
However, things could start becoming even more busier for Mathews since Jayawardene announced that he would be re-evaluating his position as ODI and Test captain after the Australia series in January.
If Jayawardene does indeed choose to resign, Mathews is now the only suitable candidate remaining to take charge, which would make him Sri Lanka’s captain in all three formats.
“When Mahela was captain in the T20 format he managed me quite well, all the bowlers need some sort of management when it comes to preparing for tournaments and to prolonging their careers. It will be the same but in the ODIs and T20 formats I will be bowling but in Tests I will have to manage my workload. The seniors have played a major part up to now with me. TM Dilshan, [Kumar] Sangakkara, Mahela and even [Chaminda] Vaas and Sanath [Jayasuriya] all of them have helped me quite a lot. They have always told me to keep it simple and try and be calm as possible when tense situations arise,” Mathews added.
Mathews has also called on the entire team to use the series against New Zealand to get mentally prepared for their tour of Australia in December.
During that tour, Sri Lanka will face the Australians in three Tests, five ODIs and one Twenty20 International.
“We lost the World T20 final to West Indies due to a mental factor. If we are to be successful in the future we have to get over that mental block. We have a lot of matches coming up for us. After New Zealand we go to Australia which is a big series so we need to perform well,” Mathews said.
Both New Zealand and Sri Lanka have not had ample time to prepare for their upcoming series since constant rain has forced them to abandon the one-off Twenty20 and many of their training sessions.
Mathews noted that both teams were very familiar with each other since they met during the ICC World Twenty20, in which Sri Lanka emerged victorious after a thrilling super over eliminator
“We’ve had meeting before the game and we have analysed all their players. New Zealand has always been a very forceful team in international cricket wherever they play. We can’t take them lightly we need to step our game and rise to the occasion,” Mathews added.