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'Prepared or not, it was always going to be tough in India'

November 10, 2014 12:09 IST

The Indian team celebrates the fall of a Sri Lankan wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews has said the challenge of performance against India in their own backyard was never beyond doubt but he is pained to see that they have failed to play their brand of cricket. 

"It was always going to be tough in India, whether you are prepared or not prepared. It is a challenging tour for any team, not only us. Not many teams have won against India in India.

"But we just wanted to play our brand of cricket, which we haven't played in the last three games," a dejected Mathews said at the post-match conference after losing the third ODI by six wickets.

"If we play our brand of cricket and stop worrying about winning or losing then I think we can head into the World Cup pretty high and confident," the all-rounder added.

'Only Dilshan and Mahela showed some resistance'

Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka and Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka run between the wickets. Photograph: BCCI

Mathews said the batsmen, specially the youngsters, have let the side down, resulting in team's lackluster show. 

"We can't repeat those mistakes time and again. We flopped in our batting. I thought the power-play was crucial, we lost 4 wickets for minimum runs. We keep doing the same mistakes and hope that we win, which we cannot do here. 

Especially against a quality team like India you got to stay positive. 300 is a minimum mark here on these wickets. 242 was nothing for the bowlers to bowl at," said Mathews. Striking a fluent 118 on Sunday, Mahela Jayawardene fought a lone battle with a 105-run partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan (53) and Mathews said that it's time for the youngsters to step up their game. 

"Only Dilshan and Mahela showed some resistance and all the other batsmen just threw it away. Either just lack of concentration or just playing some silly shots. Going into the World Cup we need top guns to fire. 

"And they are ones who have been performing for the last couple of years. The younger guys need to step up and grab their opportunities, we can't keep chopping and changing," he added.

'We can take a point or two out of the way India batted'

Virat Kholi captain of India pats teammate Shikhar Dhawan as he walks back to the pavilion. Photograph: BCCI

The Indian batsmen have continued with their good showing with Shikhar Dhawan (91) and Virat Kohli (53) making short work of their 243-run chase and Mathews said that the visitors should take a cue from their opponents. 

"When you lose matches then there are going to be many opinions but the bottom line is that we haven't performed well and we haven't batted well. And that is a cause of concern. We need to be positive and aggressive.

"We can take a point or two out of the way India has batted. The way they are batting at the moment. They are positive and aggressive and look to score runs," said Mathews. 

Insisting that the experienced Kumar Sangakkara has not been dropped from the final two ODIs, Mathews clarified that the changes have been incorporated keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup.