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February 25, 2015

Angelo Mathews


Q. Angelo, can you give us an update on when will be arriving? If he arrives on time, will he be available for tomorrow's game?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, hopefully, he'll be arriving tonight, but even he'll be out for minimum of two to three weeks. So he'll be out of the series, and be going back after this game. I mean, yes, hopefully we'll be in contention, but among the managers and selectors we'll decide whether we want to play him or not.

Q. How is the bowling situation with the bowlers?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I mean, these are the guys that we have, to be honest, and we need to get the maximum out of these guys. Unfortunately, we don't have too many guys who bowl 45-pluses. But with the resources that we have, we've got to win games and the last game was a close one, but a win is a win. We'll take that win. But I think we need to improve our standards to go further in this tournament.

Q. Angelo, do you see it as an advantage that a lot of the teams here, you're one of the few, I guess with Australia and New Zealand that have seen bowling all-arounders in your lineup, like yourself and Thisara.
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I think having all-arounders is an advantage for the team. Whether you're bowling all-around or batting all-around, whether you can contribute to all of the departments, it's only beneficial for the team. So I think it is a great advantage to have all-arounders, and we can see so many teams using the all-arounders at all times.

Q. Angelo, of the 37 ODIs between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, you've won 32 of them, which is 8 a person. Are you surprised by the pessimism among the cricket fans that this is going to be a tough game?
ANGELO MATHEWS: It's certainly going to be a tough game. Bangladesh have performed really well in the recent past. You know, it's a World Cup game. It's going to be a pressure game for all of us. So, I mean, as I keep saying, we can't take any team lightly. We've got to set our standards and set our goals high and play every single game as a final or semifinal.

Q. As was mentioned Sri Lanka (Indiscernible) won 88% of the matches against Bangladesh. And as you mentioned, it was a close one against Afghanistan. But what did you actually take from that match that would ensure that you'd win comfortably tomorrow?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I think the Afghanistan bowling attack is very good, so we can say that. They put us under a lot of pressure when we were batting. And they're a fairly good team. I think as you said, you can't be complacent against a team like that because they can win any game or beat any side on that day. I think the one that we've got to learn is you've got to try and dominate it from ball one, and you've got to stay in the game until the end of the game. It's just that whoever you play, you've got to take it very seriously and be positive and win it.

Q. Angelo, this is the same group of bowlers that you've had for the last year when they've done pretty well. What does it take to get them back into form? Is it a case of tweaking strategy? Is it a case of giving game time and hoping it comes right? Is it technical changes? What does it take to get them firing again like they were?
ANGELO MATHEWS: I think when you're in the World Cup, I think you can't go into too much technical side. But I think you've just got to give them confidence. Like Lasith is back after injuries and bowling after a few months. I'm sure he's working extremely hard at the net to get everything right. So at the back end of the series when it comes to the quarterfinal, that is the time you've got to be at your peak. So we're working towards that, and we'll take every game very seriously and try to perform with whatever sources we have.

Q. Angelo, I'm not sure if you saw the South Africa-India match the other night. I'm just wondering, you probably would have seen the result, but did that give you some confidence as a subcontinental team that it's not just Southern hemisphere teams like South Africa, New Zealand and Australia that can dominate on local pitches?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, definitely. As far as we're concerned, we've been to England and beaten them as well. So we've got the capacity and skill to do it. It's just we need to try to execute our plans properly. Yeah, definitely, India have played really well in the past two games and we saw them struggling early on in the season or in the summer. But if you click as a group, I think we can do wonders. It's just we need to click as a group and try to win games.

Q. Angelo, Suranga (Indiscernible) is netting in every game. Is that just a part of motivating the team, or how's the atmosphere and using it as inspiration to give them a lift or something like that?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, definitely. If we can send them off on a high it will be the best thing we can do for their service for the past 16, 17 years. They've done a tremendous job in creating that passion, creating that enjoyment within the group. And we are thankful to them. If we can win this World Cup for them that will be the best thing that we can do for them.

Q. Angelo, you probably have personally very good memories of the MCG and a couple matches you've played here. Others on the team say they've had good memories of the time in Australia. You've done reasonably well here in the last five years in One Dayers. Is there a feeling that Australia with the pitches that offer a little bit more with the bigger boundaries, that you're more comfortable playing here than maybe in New Zealand?
ANGELO MATHEWS: I think still wherever you play, you've got to play your best cricket. I think we haven't played our best cricket yet. I think regardless in pitches and conditions, if we play our best cricket, if we play our unique type of cricket, we can win against any team. The Australian pitches are a little bit more and the bounce is very true. It's quite easy. It comes on really well to the bat. So as batters when you get set, you can go for a big one, so hopefully the batters can do their job, and hopefully if you bat first, the bowlers can come into play in the second ends.

Q. (Indiscernible) have very good reputations in Australia for what they do as players. What sort of impact is it to have him on the off-field coaching staff and someone like Marvin as well?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Definitely. On our supporting staff we have so many guys who have played so much cricket in all parts of the world. I think they've got enough experience. (Indiscernible), we all know he's well among the top run scorers in world cricket, and he offers a lot as well as chairman selector, so is (Indiscernible) and Marvin. So we've got a good group who can offer a lot to the team.

Q. Any targeting or strategy for Bangladesh in tomorrow's match?
ANGELO MATHEWS: No, I think Bangladesh are a very good team. As I've said before, they've got a good set of batsmen, they have good all-arounders and they're good bowlers. So we can't plan for one particular player. We've got to take all seven batters or eight batters seriously and their bowlers very seriously. It's just that on the day whoever plays the best cricket will obviously win, but we look to play our best cricket tomorrow.

Q. As you mentioned, India had struggled earlier in the summer, and they've put two good games back-to-back. What aspects of their game that you would like your teammates to replicate for your success?
ANGELO MATHEWS: I think my team is unique. We don't want to follow any team in this tournament. We'll just take the positives that the other teams have. But I think it's just that we know what we can do. We know the strategies that we should approach. That we should take to the field. So we'll look to do our thing rather than emulate some other team.

Q. Could you explain on that? That's what I want to know. You said improving certain things. What are the things you want your team to improve on?
ANGELO MATHEWS: I think it's pretty simple. The batters have to score runs and the bowlers have to take wickets. But I think we've got to be positive in our approach. We've got to obviously score runs to give the bowlers a chance. So the attitude on the field also has to be improved, so that's what we are concentrating.

Q. A lot of people have fond memories of the ODI against Australia years ago. What fond memories do you have of the game, and would you call it your best knock in One Days?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, it's certainly one of the best knocks that I've played so far and a lot of fond memories we actually took from that series. That was the first time we beat Australia in Australia. That was great memories for us. So what's past is past. I think we've got to move on. We've got to take one game at a time. And again, if we can repeat those memories here tomorrow, it will be wonderful.

Q. You mentioned attitude on the field. Is that something you've talked about since the Afghanistan game?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, we've worked really hard on our fielding. That is one aspect of the game that we need to improve the attitude that we show on the field. If we can do that, I think normally the Sri Lanka cricket team is known for that. So if we can bring that A-game on tomorrow, it will be great.
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