by Tim Holt
The curse and beauty of the Sri Lankan Team is they rarely get recognition for not only the fine Team they are but also the very talented individuals in the Team.
Like the classic example is Kumar Sangakkara…. Answer this……
If a question was asked on a global cricket site about who is the World best batsman?
How many would say Sanga – I dare say very few….. But this is more about the lack of coverage he gets rather than his record which pretty much dwarfs everyone else.
Again in this World Cup let me ask you this…………?
Which all rounder would you take out of all the ones on offer? Im sure most would say Shahid Afridi or Abdul Razzaq. Or the more refined would say Jacques Kallis or Shakib al Hasan. Then the more delusional Steven Smith.
These answers again highlighting the ambivalence of Sri Lankan players.For all these are indeed worthy of consideration,but none in my humble opinion can hold a candle to the exceptional all round talents of Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews.
For forget about the fact that in the last year he has averaged 54.50 with the bat and 32.90 with the ball- which is the Worlds best for an all rounder.
Though there is another predominate trait in his make up that adds a third all round talent to his game that is indeed as precious as a diamond. That being his natural leadership.
Sri Lanka might be lead by Sangakkara and aided by Mahela Jayawardene, but Mathews in truth is one of the best young leaders seen in the game in a long time.
To speak in a language all Sri Lankans will understand…
He could be as great a leader as Arjuna Ranatunga….!
This is a huge call considering Arjuna is viewed as the the Father of Sri Lankan cricket.Though Mathews has that same distinctive Ranatunga charisma about him.A steely self belief that is unshakable in the wake of any onslaught and the ice running through his veins to deal with any pressure situation.
In this World Cup you can see a moment that will define Sri Lanka’s eventual fate and if Mathews is their you can see him negotiating it to Sri Lanka’s advantage
For his talent with the bat and ball will win games…but combine it with his natural leadership it could help win the World Cup