Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has announced that he does not see any sense in reshuffling his batting line-up ahead of the second ODI against South Africa in Pallekele.
There have been suggestions about allowing Mahela Jayawardene to open the batting with Lahiru Thirimanne as the veteran batsman averages 44.47 as an opener.
This would mean that Kusal Perera, who is renowned for his aggressive mindset and approach, will drop down to the number four spot, which is where he bats in domestic cricket.
“I don’t think we are that desperate to open with Mahela because his experience in the middle order counts a lot,” Mathews said. “We need someone like Mahela to try and control the middle order. Kusal has been doing pretty well up there, and he played a good knock on Sunday. Unfortunately he couldn’t carry on.
“Mahela will play at No.4 but in an emergency, he might play as an opener or at No.3. We’ve got a set batting order and we’re not going to meddle with that.”
Mathews also noted that he has faith in out-of-form batsman Ashan Priyanjan, who is actually turning out to be quite a useful bowler.
“Ashan plays very freely, no matter what the situation is,” Mathews said. “He always trusts his ability and trusts his instincts. I want him to do just that. But in the last game, he showed little bit of inexperience. That happens to everybody. At the start of your careers, you get a lot of nerves. I feel for the player but he still a very good player.”
Mathews added that he wasn’t worried after his team were beaten by 75 runs in the first ODI in Colombo.
“We don’t need to panic,” he said. “It’s just one game and we played poorly. We can turn things around if we play better cricket than this. We don’t need to panic or make major changes. Making changes shows the opposition that we are panicking. We just need to pull our socks up and try and perform better.”