Kumar Sangakkara, former Sri Lankan champion batsman and captain opened up on his sides’ chastening 2011 World Cup final defeat to India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where he admitted that the absence of star all-rounder Angelo Mathews was a key reason behind him opting to bowl first in the grand finale; something he believes turned out to be the major ‘turning point’.
Angelo Mathews, who had played a key role with both bat and ball in Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign was forced out of the summit clash against India due to a quadriceps muscle injury, he’d sustained during the semi-final against New Zealand.
With Angelo Mathews injured, Sri Lanka ropes in Thisara Perera and Chamara Kapugedara to bolster their lower middle-order and the 5th bowling option. They also left out the spin-duo of Rangana Herath and Ajanta Mendis in favor of Suraj Randiv.
Kumar Sangakkara laments the absence of Angelo Mathews in the 2011 World Cup final
Speaking to Ravichandran Ashwin, on the latest episode of ‘Reminisce with Ash’ the former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara revealed that the absence of Anjelo Mathews forced him to go with the 6-5 combination.
“In that WC final, that’s the biggest thing I look back and think. You can talk about drop catches and all of that happens. But the composition of the side and the fact that we were forced to make the change was to me the turning point,” Sangakkara told Ashwin.
“But for 100 percent, if Angelo (Mathews) had been fit, I know for sure we would have gone for chase. I’m not sure whether the result would have changed. That balance of team that Mathews would give at seven really was a bonus. If you take our entire campaign, whatever we did Mathews’ overs and his ability to bat with the tail and read situations was an incredible bonus to us,” Kumar Sangakkara added.
He added: “He was a young chap who came into the side and from day one he could read situations. It’s just instinct, how to up the rate, how to control the bowler, when to accelerate.”
Batting first, Sri Lanka, on the back of a whirlwind century from Mahela Jayawardene, racked up 6-274 in 50 overs, a target that was eventually gunned down by the Men in Blue thanks to a brilliant 97 from Gautam Gambhir and a calculated 91 from skipper MS Dhoni, who finished the game off with a six off Nuwan Kulasekara to realize a 28-year-old dream for the cricket-mad nation.