Q. Can you give us an update on Chamara Kapugedera?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah he just got injured at training, so we sent him for an MRI scan. We are waiting for the doctor’s report. If need be, we might have to bring in a replacement, which is Danushka.

Q. Angelo, probably you won’t be bowling tomorrow. How much does it affect the balance of the side that your 10 overs have been very crucial in the scheme of things? How do you look at that? How to manage the plug?
ANGELO MATHEWS: It does upset the balance a little bit. If I could bowl my 10 overs, unfortunately, I mean, I’m okay to play as a batsman but not as a bowler. So we have to think about it — we have to come up with some other plans to try and cope with the Indian batting lineup.

But yes, this is what we’ve got, and we’ll definitely use the resources that we’ve got at the moment.

Q. Angelo, Sri Lanka is probably rebuilding its team after the retirement of a few really great players. In this group of teams that Pakistan is also not really at their best. So that probably makes things a little easier for the two other teams, South Africa and India.
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, it does. I mean, as I said, you know, at the very first press conference, we are happy to walk in as the underdogs. I mean, no one really expects us to win the Championship. Which takes a lot of pressure out of the guys.

I mean, you’ve got to deal with the pressures. We always have pressures when we play as players. You’ve just got to deal with it and be as a team. Yes, we are in the rebuilding phases for the past one or two years. I mean, yes, we’ve had so many greats and they’ve retired. We are slowly rebuilding, but surely, we will come up with a good performance.

We bowled and fielded really well in the South African game. It’s just that we didn’t click as a batting unit. It was unfortunate that, after the start that we’ve got, we lost our way in the middle and collapsed, you know, to 240.

Yeah, it was very disappointing, but I thought the bowlers and the fielders kept us in the game. It’s just that the batting didn’t click.

Q. Angelo, the rebuilding phase is probably taking a little longer than expected, and the results also haven’t been encouraging since the World Cup. Can you point a finger and tell us why that process is taking longer than expected? Are the guys not really stepping up, or is it losing out in the crucial moments?
ANGELO MATHEWS: It’s a very hard question to answer. Yeah, I mean, it only comes with experience, and the guys are learning every single day. If you look at most of the guys, they haven’t played a lot of international cricket. The more you play, the more you learn, and we’ve learned right throughout our careers.

Yes, it’s a very tough question. You never know. But it’s just that we’ve got to keep learning every single day, and everyone has to step up with their roles because we can’t just expect things to fall in line. We’ve got to make it happen, and we’ve got to make it happen soon.

Q. Angelo, during your career, you played so many different roles, as a batsman itself. You’ve been the finisher. You’ve been the big hitter. How have you coped with those different roles? And like what is the role that you play right now like in your head, like in this batting lineup?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yeah, I think I’m quite familiar with taking responsibility in the middle order, and I’ve — ever since my under 19 career, I’ve put into that role as a finisher and batting in the middle order to try to stabilize the innings.

So my role is — where it might differ from game to game, there might be situations where I have to play different to my game. I think, yeah, as a captain and as a player, I’m learning every single day as well, and those experiences will make me a better person and also a better player.

Q. Angelo, just an extension of Rohitji’s question, if you currently look at the limited overs team of Asian teams, do you think there is a clear difference between India and the other three Test playing nations?
ANGELO MATHEWS: No, I don’t think so. It’s just that every team is on — all the teams, yes India have done extremely well in the past couple years. If you look at our team, we’ve beaten the Australians, which was the number 1 team then a few months back. We beat Australia in Australia. We beat South Africa in South Africa.

So I don’t think there’s a massive difference. It’s just that there will be phases when you struggle. There will be phases when you play well. So you can’t really single out the best team.

Q. Captain, how do you rate this Indian team, especially after they beat Pakistan very comfortably? How do you rate this team India?
ANGELO MATHEWS: As you know, they’re a force in world cricket no matter where they play, whether it’s at home or away. They’ve played fantastic cricket over the past so many years. Especially in the last couple of years, they’ve been tremendous, whether it’s home or away. It’s very hard to beat them unless we are on top of our game.

We will all have to pull our socks up and give a great performance tomorrow.

Q. Angelo, usually when you talk about India, the focus is so much on the batting. But in the last few months, the bowling unit has really developed. Is that going to be a slightly different feeling for you taking on an Indian team with a strong bowling attack?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Absolutely. If you talk about India, the batting lineup has always put teams under pressure. This bowling lineup is quite different. They’re one of the best in the world. You get a good balance of spin and pace, and they’re all different to each other, and they’ve got a fantastic bowling attack.

Yes, for the batters it will be hard work, especially on this greenish wicket, but we’re just hoping for a good performance tomorrow.

Q. Angelo, a lot of people expect a lot of runs and flat wickets at the ICC events. Are you surprised with the amount of grass that’s been left for tomorrow’s game?
ANGELO MATHEWS: There is a little bit of grass, but don’t really know, as of now, how the wicket will play. If the sun comes out, it might be a different case. There is a little bit of grass on the wicket as of now, but still there is a little bit of time, and we don’t know whether they’re going to cut the grass or not.

We’ve got to play on whatever we get, but I think it’s not going to be an excuse. We’ve got to put up the runs on the board, whether we bat first or second.

Q. Angelo, hi. The slow over rates has been an issue. How do you want to tackle that? And the other is Kumar Sangakkara has written in his column that he expects this Sri Lankan team to come out and play an aggressive brand of cricket. Do you agree with that? Do you think this team needs to step up maybe in terms of intensity and aggressiveness?
ANGELO MATHEWS: Yes, but I think, to answer your first question, the over rate was an issue. It was pathetic. I call it pathetic because the whole team, and the captain was warned several times, and there’s no excuse at all but to take responsibility for that because nobody else can take responsibility on it. The whole team is responsible, including the captain.

And to feel for the captain, I think it’s a very hard job on the field, and he has to look into so many things — tactics, bowling changes, field setting. So the rest of the players have to support them. How you see most of the teams playing with four seamers, and they have not had an issue. So we played only three, and we’ve had an issue. So that has been addressed, and it will not happen again.

Yes, for your second question, yes, I think that is our brand of cricket, being aggressive and positive. I mean, thinking there is no expectations, no real expectations. People will want India to come in and thrash us, and it’s just all the pressure is off us.

We just have to go out there, just express ourselves. As Kumar has rightly said, coming from the legend himself, we’ve got to go out there and express ourselves and be aggressive.

Q. Angelo, this happens to be Surrey’s home ground, and Kumar Sangakkara has been playing a sterling role for them. Did you ever feel tempted to sort of ask him to reconsider his retirement for this important tournament and play for Sri Lanka once again?
ANGELO MATHEWS: I always asked him that. Even a couple days ago, I was asking him can you come and play for us, you know, in this game? He’s been in absolute form. He’s been in form ever since he started playing, to be honest.

Yes, he’s had a dream career, and it’s unfortunate that we don’t have him anymore, but he’s always willing to help us. He’s always having chats to us on how we should play on these conditions, especially. It’s his home ground. And he’s had a lot of chats to all the younger players, including myself.

Yes, it’s unfortunate we don’t have him, but, yes, it’s very tempting to call him back again.

Q. It’s a neutral venue, but nowadays, wherever India plays, they seem to get a lot of support. Is that — sometimes a little irritating as the opposition team, even in the neutral venue India’s getting attention?
ANGELO MATHEWS: No, not at all. Wherever we’re playing India, it’s the same case, whether it’s India or away from home. The crowd support has been amazing.

Indians are everywhere, and they keep following the team, and they are so passionate about the game, and they love their players, and they keep supporting. Also thankful, we’ve got — we don’t have as much as the Indians in London, but they all come over to witness a great game of cricket, and hopefully, the crowd will enjoy Indians and Sri Lankans, will enjoy the great game today tomorrow.