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Angelo Mathews was dismissed for 52 © IANS

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews scored a fighting 52 on Day Three of the first of the three-Test series against India at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. However, despite his half-century, he said that it was hardly of any help to the Lankans in pursuit of a win, while he also praised the Indian bowling attack for their subtle performance so far. Mathews praised the Indian pacers Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, and rated them as top-class bowlers. Lanka are currently 165 for the loss of four wickets, while they trail the hosts by just seven runs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2017-18, 1st Test at Eden Gardens

On India’s bowling attack

“Especially in the last few years, Indians have produced some fantastic fast bowlers. The three [Shami, Bhuvneshwar and Umesh] are top class and you need to be able to mentally prepared with good skills to tackle them. We definitely can, we have a very good batting unit. All three are very skillful. They keep coming at you and you can’t relax at all. If you see the loose balls were very minimal. They were top class. We knew it was a challenging wicket and it was not going to be easy right from the outset. It’s a big challenge for the batters, once in a while you play and your skill is tested. It was not easy, they have been bowling really well. But [to handle them] it comes with experience, you learn when you play more. I’ve learnt quite a bit to handle these situation,” said Mathews during the post-day press conference. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India vs Sri Lanka 2017-18, 1st Test at Eden Gardens, Day 3

On his half-century

“Fifties are not going to take us anywhere, we got to get to hundreds. It’s not something that will do any help to anyone and my team. I know it’s not going to be easy from here. We all know India are a fantastic team, we just have to be on the top of our game here. It has been a quite a frustrating year for me, especially with injuries. I’ve been going in and out of the side. It’s not easy to have the same rhythm. I had a good two months’ layoff. I’m in a good shape and hope I can carry on doing a good job for Sri Lanka.” IND vs SL, 1st Test: Pujara credits his experience in County after his fighting 52

“I had a good sort of three years of cricket from 2013 onwards but my body is taking a toll now. I have to manage my workload. I think it comes with experience. I played a few more games and than the rest of the boys. I’ve temporarily stopped bowling in Tests just to manage my workload and see how it goes. As of now playing as a batsman only.”

On Lanka’s chances in this Test

“You never know, cricket is a funny game. We can’t take foot off the gas, and got to score as many runs as possible. I don’t know on this wicket, what is enough. In the next two days, we hope to get a result and play some good cricket.”

On being a former captain

“I can’t think of being a former captain or as a premier batsman in the team. All are equal. I just have to go out there and take responsibility of scoring as many runs as possible and grab the opportunity.”