Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Angelo Mathews the Man For Sri Lanka?

It was like you were witnessing death through a thousand cuts was the conclusion you came too every time you saw Sri Lanka's Captain Mahela Jayawardene in the spotlight in Australia. Most will attribute this to his Team being dismembered by the Aussies coupled with his masterful batting being reduced to a shadow of its former glories. 

In truth, both of those factors were a mere tick in his ear with his real distress being found in the shadows with him being burdened with a virtual poison chalice in the form of the Captaincy. A Captaincy that he ruefully accepted, but in no way wanted with the Team being brought to its knees by the Politics in the back room Power brokers that resembled feral cats ripping at the fabric that is the game in Sri Lankan. Their incompetent crapulence culminating in US 32 million of debt that has taken the running in the game in the Nation from dysfunctional to near on untenable with constant stories of players being unpaid being the height of its shambles.

He was forced to take the bullet for all this farce, and I am sure many more insidious dealings with him for the most doing it with due aplomb.

His time in the role is about to end with Angelo Mathews virtually assured of taking over. The key point of the rubber stamping of Mathews for the position is indeed his worthiness for the role

Mathews has been promoted on the basis of what his talents may bring rather than what he has done and the rise to captain is no different.

You see this in his play on the field with him struggling with an identity crisis where he is touted as an all rounder, but rarely does he transform himself from handy cricketer to imposing force. His bowling is a non event with his batting being characterised by the tease of potential only to be cut well short of ever being decisive by lapses in judgement that are the antithesis of a true leader.

Mathews' struggle with concentration is writ upon his poor conversion rate and the umpteen wasteful dismissals that have followed promising starts. 
The recently finished Test series against Australia exemplified this with him being presented with many chances to show his credentials as the Teams next Captain to his peers only for him to underline how ill suited he is for the role with the irresponsible ways he gave his wickets.
Unneeded Run Outs
This made worse by him making a focus of the Team in the lead up with a call for  more 'batting discipline' only to embarrass himself by his actions. Hard to find the inspiration to follow one who dictates a need for all to follow only to see him contradict his edict.

The sad reality for Sri Lanka is Mathews is their only options with all the Veterans avoiding the position because of their knowledge of the onerous forces that so impact on it. Leaving the Team with a man that should have 'maybe' be his second name rather than an assured certainty that the Team so needs in a period of transition.

I would be more inclined to take a South African like risk in 2003 that they did with Graeme Smith that turned to gold with Dinesh Chandimal. A player that exudes all the qualities that Mathews lacks and is the epitome of an individual that would compel you to walk over hot coals for

But his inexperience coupled with the obvious backing Mathews has would eliminate this out of the square suggestion.

In defence of Mathews, he will have the benefit of a relative easy schedule in 2013 with few Tests for Sri Lanka and many T20/ODI matches that the Team and he excels in. Which will likely be a group under going transition with many youngsters coming into it meaning the confidence and belief in him as a leader will be easy to foster allowing him to make it his Team.

A confidence and pride that could make Mathews into the imposing force that Sri Lanka so needs

Let us hope this is indeed the reality!


  1. A true description of the current Sri Lankan situation.... Chandimal might get the vice captaincy though...
    Your articles are very interesting... Keep it up...
    The future of Sri Lanka's Batting and spin bowling is probably in safe hands.. It's the fast bowling I'm worried about..

  2. Thank you for your kind words Nadun

  3. well I think that Angelo Mathews is a very good player and he can help Sri Lanka a lot, but he needs more field experience in my opinion