The one-day international series has gone away from Sri Lanka after three games but that shouldn’t deter them from keeping the process going, feels Angelo Mathews.
Speaking ahead of the fourth game of the five-match series, where the South Africans have been dominant across departments, Mathews stressed on the ‘plan’ and the ‘process’.
“We've got to play for our pride now. We started something in the last match – when we play on good wickets, the bowlers and the batters will get exposed. That is something that we have to deal with – it's something that we have to get better at,” he said.
“We will continue to do what we have planned, without shoving it away after one or two games. This is a process.”
Like the South Africans, the Sri Lankans also have an eye on next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, and trying out new players is very much a part of the agenda.
“We have an opportunity to try a few combinations, but at the same time we need continuity. We will try to give opportunities to whoever who has not played so far, but unfortunately, I don't think we will be able to give everyone the opportunity,” pointed out Mathews. “This is a learning process, and we need to keep the same player as much as we can.”
The Sri Lankans haven’t done well as a whole since the end of the Test series, which they swept 2-0, but the repeated failures of Kusal Mendis in particular has been a cause for concern.
Mendis, one of Sri Lanka’s most skilled all-format batsmen, has scored 3, 0 and 31 in the three ODIs so far, and has a highest score of 25 in the last three Tests Sri Lanka have played after hitting 4, 102, 45 and 87 in the first two Tests in the West Indies.
“In the last couple of games that he has played, going to the wicket in the first couple of overs when you don't have runs behind you, can also worry you a little bit,” said Mathews. “We know the talent that he has got – he is an unbelievably good player. Flexibility has been spoken about in the dressing room, we want everyone to be flexible.”