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Australia is capable of demolishing any team: Mathews

Kumar Sangakkara is a big role model for all the youngsters in the side, says the Sri Lankan captain

Australia is capable of demolishing any team: Mathews - Cricket News
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.
The coming game against Australia, after the England victory, how do you think the mood of the camp is?
Yeah, the mood in the camp is very good. We're feeling very confident, but I think tomorrow it's a fresh game. We must start from zero once again. So we need to be up for the game against Australia because we all know that Aussies play well. They've not been in the best of form, but still, we can't be complacent against them because they've got some really good players, so we have to be on our guard all the time.
Whose decision was it the other day to send Kula out?
It was a decision made by the whole management, including myself and the coach, and we just thought that let Kula go and have a crack. We had a discussion with the batting coach and all the other coaches, as well, and the outcome was good, and we just took the decision to send Kula in.
You've talked about Sangakkara a lot already in your career, but it seems to be that most batsmen have a flourish in their favorite shot. He seems to be controlled now every single shot he has. Would that be accurate?
Yeah, definitely. He's a complete batsman. To me I think he's a role model to all the youngsters like us, and I think we've got a lot to learn from him, the way he handles pressure, the way he bats at No. 3 because No. 3 is a very crucial position. That position steadies the whole ship for the team. So I think we are pleased to have Kumar Sangakkara batting at No. 3 and doing the job for us for such a long time.
Playing Australia at this point in time, obviously they haven't been in their best of late and not the best of buildups, a lot of distraction. Is it really the best time to be playing them considering that a lot has gone on?
Well, as I said before, it's not about individuals, it's about playing Australia, and I think whoever is not playing, it doesn't really matter. We need to face Australia, and they are a very forceful unit when it comes to international cricket. They can demolish any team, so we need to stay focused. We can't think about the last weeks because every single game is a semi-final from now on for us, so to be alive in this tournament we need to win each and every game.
The weather may affect the upcoming matches; how are your thoughts on that? How is the team's preparation? Are there any changes or how do you prepare for that?
Yeah, that I think the weather is something we can't control, but yeah, obviously if it's a shortened game we might have to think about our option strategies. But weather permitting, I think we should get a good game. But unfortunately we can't control the weather. But we need to keep our options open. We need to have our strategies in mind, as well.
Is this a strategic decision that Malinga skips training a day before the match, keeping him prepared and absolutely hungry for the game?
Well, not only Malinga, there are few guys who have been rested - Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara - so whoever, has done enough work in the past, because ultimately it comes down to player management, as well, because we've got so many games ahead and we've got so many tours ahead, as well. So we can't be over‑practicing, so we need to sort of manage those players for them to play as long as possible in the team.
Have you thought that perhaps your work done as a fielding inspector, it was a little bit disappointing the other day?
Yeah, we talked about it. There was a lot of discussion before the start of training yesterday. Yeah, the standards were a little bit low, or rather it was low from the very first game that we played against New Zealand. The New Zealand game we were running around, diving for each run, trying to save. Yeah, in the last game we didn't do as much, as well as we did in the New Zealand game, but certainly can improve in all three departments.
I hear that Kumar gave his Man of the Match award to one of the support staff. Is that pretty typical of the man he is or has he just got so many Man of the Match awards?
Well, yeah, as you say, he's got so many, countless, and he just ‑‑ he's not going after any trophies. He just wants to do his best for the team all the time, and if he can contribute in any way to help the team win, that will be the first thing that he'll do.
How do you guys feel about the support you get in London?
Yeah, absolutely. It's been a pleasure playing in the UK because each time we come here, we get a lot of support from the Sri Lankan community here and we are really thankful to them being behind us, supporting us. We know they always come support us, so we are extremely thankful to them.

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