Newly-appointed Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera for the three-match One-day International series against India ahead of the first ODI in Dharamsala remarked he is expecting to see all-rounder Angelo Mathews giving best with the ball after revealing the latter is available as the bowling option.
“Hopefully he can do something special for us,” said Perera on the eve of the opening One-dayer of the three-match series,” Perera was quoted as saying by PTI.
On the other side, formidable India will be led by Rohit Sharma after regular skipper Virat Kohli was rested for the limited-overs series which further saw him undergoing a rigorous schedule while representing the national side.
The 30-year-old Colombo-born Mathews has somewhat strengthened the eighth-ranked Lions team as he has the potential to play a significant role for the visitors in the limited-overs edition.
“India don’t have Virat Kohli. He is their best batsman. But we actually don’t think on those lines,” Perera added.
Thisara expects Mathews can deliver with the ball as well other than the bat in the impending series.
The 28-year-old Perera added his option would strengthen the bowling department which is likely going to be spearheaded by Suranga Lakmal.
“He is bowling in this series. He didn’t bowl in the Tests. He is prepared for ODIs and T20s. That gives us an option to balance the side,” Perera maintained.
The promising all-rounder Perera, who has struggled particularly with the bat, reiterated they are looking forward to putting their A game against Men in Blue.
“We have to do our best. We will assess the wicket and if we play our best cricket, we can beat them,” Perera further added.
While thrusting on the Lankans have a balanced squad, Perera further addressed the comeback of Asela Gunaratne after struggling with the back injury.
“We have a couple of players who have come from an injury. It is a balanced side at the moment. We can assess what we want to do. I think Gunaratne is back after injury and he is definitely playing,” Perera remarked.
Perera expressed they don’t lack in power-hitting options down the batting order who suppose to play a significant role in the crunch situation of the game.
“We have power hitters. When you look at Dick (Niroshan Dickwella), Danushka (Gunathilaka), Upul (Tharanga) and Angelo (Mathews) all are power hitters. We can beat any team,” Perera concluded
While shedding light on the preparations for the limited-overs series, Perera expressed satisfaction with the practice and fitness and is eyeing to come good with the white-ball.
“We have prepared well. We had two good sessions over the last two days. We have a nice balance in the side,” Perera stated.
Perera further cleared they don’t want to take the risk by playing injured Dhananjaya de Silva, who played a major role in saving the Delhi Test match by smashing a hard-fought hundred.
The first ODI will be played on Sunday (December 10).