How a chat to Sanga brought the best out of Mathews

How true is the old saying, ‘smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.’ Stripped of the captaincy and axed from the ODI side, Angelo Mathews was going through hell in the last couple of weeks. It doesn’t look too good when the Head Coach questions the side’s seniormost players’ commitment, fitness and running between the wickets.

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  1. I think we all agree Anji can bat and if anyone is in doubt, just check his numbers. If not for Sanga, Anji would have been the number one batter in the world some years back. The issue is when the time came for Anji to hit the after burners on run scoring on the retirement of Sanga and Mahela, Anji pulled the handbrake and then reversed with a couple of poor years. Again we don’t need to debate this, just check the numbers. At Anji’s level, we are not looking for a fifty here and a hundred there but match a and series defining innings. More importantly guiding and giving confidence to younger players (much like Sanga and Mahele did for Anji).

    Take the English series. Sure Anji got runs but he hardly impacted the result or series. Yet he could have, if he was good enough. In both the first and second test, Anji has great opportunities to play match defining innings but made a lot of gestures upon reaching 50 and got out – in both tests, just after tea when the game could have been set up in the final session. Anji is not there to fiddle around for 50’s but impact the result like he did against NZ in the first test and he still could in the 2nd test.

    This is not about scoring a 50 and making gestures but scoring enough to get SL a useful lead and impact the result and series. The second coming of Anji is here, right here and he needs to make it count tomorrow once and for all.