Dec 14, 2016

'Don't want seamers to get carried away in S. Africa'

Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan skipper, has cautioned his seam attack against getting carried away by the conditions on offer in South Africa. Seeking to acclimatise to the conditions ahead of the first Test in Port Elizabeth on December 26, Mathews highlighted the importance of keeping it simple.

"I don't want my seamers to get carried away on these wickets. I want them sticking to the basics. Even when the conditions suit the bowlers, you've still got to get the ball in the right spots without getting carried away...the same thing applies whether you're bowling in South Africa, England or New Zealand," Mathews said on Monday (December 12).

Despite only just making a comeback after tearing his calf in August, Mathews has no plans of taking it easy and wants to beef up the bowling attack by doubling up as the extra seamer for the three Test series in South Africa.

"I am 100 percent confident of my fitness. I am hoping to bowl quite a lot in South Africa. If I can bowl a lot more, the way I did in the recent few years, I can offer a lot to my team. I've managed my workload especially in the subcontinent on slow wickets. My bowling is mostly suited when the ball is slightly swinging and seaming." Mathews said.

"In Asian conditions, I haven't bowled that much but if it is South Africa, Australia or England, where the ball is seaming and moving, I might have to bowl a bit more because getting wickets is also important for my team," he added.

Mathews also brushed off the notion about his bowling being the cause of injuries. "Injuries can occur any time but I don't think it's because I bowl. The fast bowlers or medium-pacers will always have niggles," he claimed.

The experience of coach Graham Ford, who hails from South Africa, will come in handy and the Lankans are banking on his knowledge for the required adaptations in their game.

"There is no better person than Fordy, he's got so much experience coaching various teams in different conditions. We are all looking forward to picking his brains about what it will take to succeed in these conditions," Mathews said.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a warm-up game on Saturday against an South Africa Invitation side as they prepare for what is expected to be a challenging three-Test series.