Home > Features >

Angelo Mathews has become Sri Lanka’s most dependable batsman after taking Test captaincy

Captaincy has brought the best out of Angelo Mathews © AFP
Captaincy has brought the best out of Angelo Mathews © AFP

Angelo Mathews took over as Sri Lanka’s Test captaincy in 2013 and in 10 Tests since then, he averages 79.61. The Sri Lankan skipper is calm and has a very good temperament to take the Sri Lankan team forward. So far, his performances have been encouraging. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about Mathews’ test as captain of Sri Lanka.

Some say captaincy is a burden! Pushing the responsibility on one of your stars can burden him to an extent that he can’t focus on the intricacies of his own trade. Ricky Ponting admitted in his book At Close of Play, that towards the end of captaincy, his focus was divided between his teammates and his own game. Coming from the most successful captain the world has seen, it certainly describes the pressure on a skipper of an international side. Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka’s Test and One-Day International (ODI) captain has taken to the role well so far and the responsibility has only made him a better player.

Sri Lanka cricket has seen some phenomenal success in the last year. Though their biggest moment, i.e. the ICC World T20 2014 victory, came under a different captain, Mathews has led the side admirably. Under his leadership, they have won the Asia Cup and the Test series in England. Along the way, Mathews has inspired confidence, with his calm demeanour on the field. Even when Lasith Malinga and Dinesh Chandimal led Sri Lanka in the World T20, Mathews seemed to be the senior leader, who led his side with some inspiring performances.

But, coming to Test cricket, Mathews contributions as captain have been unparalled. His batting has touched a new level and he has run into the form of his life in the longest version. Since his debut, he was touted as the next big thing in Sri Lankan cricket — the man who was to take the responsibility after the triumvirate of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Mathews has taken to captaincy very well and that reflects in his stats in Test cricket. Consider this, his recent scores leading up to the 89 against South Africa in the first Test are as follows: 91, 157 not out, 42, 91, 31, 86, 5, 43 not out, 102, 18, 26 and 160.

But, one must have a look at his stats before he became a captain and after. Here are his numbers in Test cricket before he was appointed Sri Lanka’s Test captain:

M

R

Ave

100s

50s

HS

31

1668

39.71

1

11

105 *

Here are his numbers in Tests as captain of Sri Lanka:

M

R

Ave

100s

50s

HS

10

1035

79.61

3

4

160

As captain of Sri Lanka, he averages 79.61 in Test cricket, which shows how well he has fit into the role. Before he was appointed captain, he had scored only one ton, but now he has three to his credit. The 160-run knock at Headingley in the second Test against England is a true example of his maturity as a batsman. And now, with his teammates failing to assert themselves against South Africa, he stood out with an innings of 89.

This fantastic run of form has seen his Test average go up by several notches. It is a very important development for Sri Lanka as they are in a delicate phase of transition. With Mahela Jayawardene retiring from Test cricket after the home season, they have found an able successor in Mathews. Last year, Dilshan retired from Test cricket and one doesn’t know for how long Kumar Sangakkara would continue post the 2015 World Cup. Mathews would be really tested once he loses the whole crop of seniors. Ponting after all found himself in that tough situation when all the big names had left the Australian dressing room.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Student dies in Finland high school stabbing

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

School girl gang-raped in Bengal

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

NGOs pursue education for all

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here