Squad Reshuffling: The Angelo Mathews Switch
Cricket aficionados will be keenly aware of the recent alterations in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad. Angelo Mathews, the seasoned allrounder, steps in to fill the shoes of fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana. A shoulder injury against Pakistan in Hyderabad on October 10 proved to be the undoing for Pathirana, sidelining him from the subsequent fixtures against Australia and the Netherlands.
Mathews: The Veteran Returns
Having already joined the squad before the match against the Netherlands, Mathews wasn’t an unfamiliar face in the camp. With a rich history that includes a stint as Sri Lanka’s captain during the 2015 World Cup, the 36-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the fold. His previous World Cup appearances span 2011, 2015, and 2019. His last ODI outing was in June against Afghanistan.
Injury Woes for the Lankan Lions
It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Sri Lanka this World Cup. Pathirana’s injury is the second blow after the captain, Dasun Shanaka, had to bow out due to a quadriceps tear, which incidentally occurred during the same Pakistan match. Stepping in for Shanaka was Chamika Karunaratne, while Kusal Mendis donned the captain’s hat. The squad is further weakened by the absence of legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga, another casualty to injury.
Pathirana’s Performance Snapshot
Before his injury setback, Pathirana’s figures were under scrutiny. His 19 overs across matches against South Africa and Pakistan saw him concede a staggering 185 runs, pushing his economy rate to hover around 10.
In Search of Form: Sri Lanka’s Current Standings
Despite the challenges, Sri Lanka managed to clinch their first World Cup victory against the Netherlands in Lucknow, shaking off a three-match losing streak. However, they still have ground to cover, sitting ninth on the points table.