India seem to be on a roll in the five-match ODI series versus Sri Lanka. India thrashed Sri Lanka by six wickets and with 33 balls to spare in Ahmedabad on Thursday to take 2-0 lead and Angelo Mathews is a worried man.
The Lankans were reluctant to come on this tour. But the former world champions, a good mix of youth and experience, have disappointed and Mathews is concerned. The visitors lost the first ODI in Cuttack by 169 runs. Quite unexpectedly, India have won one-sided affairs. (Mathews Fights his Way to Top of ODI Batting Charts in 2014)
"I think we're slowly getting better, but I'm disappointed and embarrassed by the fact that we were not competitive enough against the Indians," Mathews said. "They thrashed us in the first ODI and also here. It was a convincing performance by them. We need to get our game up in the next few games to win against them."
The series has been quite a success for Mathews. His 92 not out off 101 balls is his second highest score in ODIs, next only to the 93 off 115 balls versus Pakistan at Hambantota on August 26, 2014.
Matthews is the third Sri Lankan captain to post a 90 versus India in ODIs in India, the first two being Arjuna Ranatunga's 98 at Hyderabad on February 18, 1994 and Kumar Sangakkara's 90 at Rajkot on December 15, 2009.
"It would have been better if I had got a 60 and we won the game," Mathews said. "Unfortunately we ended up on the losing side. I've been pretty good with the bat in the past six-eight months, so I'm trying to continue that and be as consistent for as long as I can, and to try and contribute with either bat or ball for the team. Whoever gets a start with the bat needs to get going for the team." (Rayudu Stakes Claim for World Cup Spot With Maiden Ton)
As captain, Matthews enjoys an excellent record in ODIs - his tally being 1357 at an average of 46.79, including 10 fifties, in 46 matches. With 838 runs at an average of 64.46 in 22 games, Mathews is the top run-scorer in ODIs this year. The young captain feels his teammates need to put in similar effort.
"We tried all the bowlers and I couldn't get any wickets. I kept changing bowlers to see if we could get any," Mathews said as India raced away to victory. Sri Lanka used all eight bowling options at Motera for the second match in a row. The returns have been rather poor, nine wickets in two games. (Special Feeling to Get Maiden Ton: Rayudu)
"We don't have a few of our best bowlers here, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake. But it is a learning curve for the bowlers. This is a difficult place to bowl. It takes a lot out of them mentally and physically. Our bowlers are quite inexperienced.
"But that's not an excuse, because we are playing international level, so we have to try and do well when we have the opportunity."