Angelo Mathews © AFP
Angelo Mathews © AFP

Angelo Mathews played yet another remarkable innings for Sri Lanka in the Super 10 group  match against England in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2016. He came into bat when his side had lost three quick wickets with not many runs on the board. Another one fell immediately after he came into bat. The target of 172 was a stiff one. Sri Lanka for the first time had lost four wickets inside three overs in a T20 International (T20I). We talk about the likes of MS Dhoni having a cool head, but we witnessed the calmness and the composure of the Sri Lankan captain that took his side to the cusp of a win in a do or die match against England. FULL SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, 29th T20 Match, Super 10 Group 1

With the burden of captaincy in all three formats, Mathews as an individual, has been among one of the most consistent performers for his country across formats. He has risen to the occasion multiple times and in the absence of some of the legends like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene,  Mathews has given it all to take Sri Lanka to the top, but has somehow not been able to do so. READ: Angelo Mathews’ valiant 73-run knock goes in vain as England defeat Sri Lanka by 10 runs in T20 World Cup 2016

Mathews is gifted with the abilities of picking up wickets at crucial junctures as well, making him one of the most complete players of his side by a long margin. His ability to read the game is also commendable.

With senior players, like Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan at the twilight of their careers, the pressure on Mathews will has only increased.  It takes a long time to rebuild a team, but it is more often that some of the experienced players, will fail to deliver. Dilshan is one such example, opening the innings, he should be the one to lay the platform for the middle-order. But he gets out in the early stages, playing bad shots most times. The inexperienced middle-order depends on the experience of Mathews, who comes into bat at either No.4 or No. 5, with his team in trouble fairly often. READ: Angelo Mathews perfect candidate to lead Sri Lanka into its new era

Sri Lanka do possess some talented players and they will only get better with time. There is no need to press the panic button for Sri Lanka as yet. But it is necessary to groom the talent at their disposal in the right direction. For now, Mathews remains their only bright hope amidst all the gloom that surrounds Sri Lanka. Things will get tougher for Sri Lanka in the upcoming months, but it will make them only stronger and with Mathews as their leader, they will only get better.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)