“Those things I can’t control, It’s not under my control,” he stated of his preliminary exclusion. “So, what I can control is keep pushing myself individually in terms of fitness, bowling, batting, everything. I mean, when the opportunity comes, I have to be ready.
“I simply did that during the last month or so. I used to be coaching extraordinarily laborious at HPC with the opposite boys as nicely. So, I used to be giving myself an opportunity to… if I get the chance, to be ready. But as I stated, I did not anticipate [the call-up], as a result of after the 15 was chosen, I used to be not anticipating. But it’s what it’s, the chance got here.”
It can at times be a blow to the ego, especially when someone as senior as Mathews is named a traveling reserve, as he initially was. However, he looked at it as an opportunity to contribute to the group in whatever way he could.
Mathews is “grateful” to the opportunity, and hopes to rekindle the “enjoyable” and try to keep Sri Lanka alive in the competition. But how does one explain the suddenness of his call-up? Mathews himself couldn’t. All he knows is he has a wealth of experience to bank on.
For starters, he is keeping his mantra simple: contribute wherever he can, with bat and “if required” with the ball. The last bit a giveaway that he’s ready to bowl, something he has often been reluctant to do in recent years because of injury.
“Now I’m, I’d say, a bit of extra mature than who I used to be earlier than to form of shut down the issues which I’ve to after which give attention to what I’ve to give attention to. So, all I’m making an attempt to regulate is the controllables, and I attempt to not fear an excessive amount of.”
“Yeah, look, I’ve in all probability seen it all around the final 15 years,” he said with a smile, when asked about the twists and turns of an eventful career that has now brought him here. “So it is fairly simple for me to form of give attention to what I’ve to do moderately than getting too affected on what’s taking place round me as a result of cricket has taught me a lot over time.
“And then now I am, I would say, a little more mature than who I was before to sort of shut down the things which I have to and then focus on what I have to focus on. So, all I am trying to control is the controllables, and I try not to worry too much. Well, obviously, we are people with emotions and then reacting for those emotions is going to damage you, so I try to keep calm and then focus on what I have to do and then obviously always do the right thing.”
The wheels of fortunes could have turned for Mathews on the Lanka Premier League this yr, when he led B-Love Kandy to the title. Mathews contributed equally with bat and ball, hitting 210 runs and selecting up seven wickets throughout 11 matches. He drew confidence from that efficiency.
“I played only like three [white-ball] games over the last two or three years,” he stated. “But I had a good LPL. I bowled batted and fielded well. So that gave me the confidence. And also, as I always say, I just try to focus on my fitness, trying to be fit, bowl a few overs, and keep myself fit and trying to give myself a chance. If I do get the opportunity, then to grab it with both hands.”
Asked what his message to his mates could be, Mathews, genial at one of the best of instances, stated in no unsure phrases that the one possibility towards England could be to “fight fire with fire”.
“Whether you play at home or away or in England or any other neutral venue, it’s always a contest between the English because we know the brand of cricket that they play and it’s all about you got to be positive with them,” he stated. “If you if you take a backward step, they are going to jump on to you and then they’re going to take the advantage but we need to sort of be positive with them.
“As I hold saying, you need to struggle fireplace with fireplace. We know that they’re a high-quality staff. They are a really well-balanced staff. And they’ll harm us badly if we’re being complacent. I imply, clearly we have now to play our A sport to win towards a powerful English staff. Even although they have not performed to their potential [at the World Cup so far], they’re a really harmful staff.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Source web site: www.espncricinfo.com