Angelo Mathews not likely to bowl in India-SL Test series
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Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews is not likely to be part of the team's bowling lineup against India in the subcontinental rivals' upcoming Test series, Sri Lanka bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake revealed this morning.
Mathews will still be part of the squad, but will wield the willow instead.
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Injuries aside, it has been a difficult year for Mathews, who until earlier this year was the skipper of the side in all three formats of the game.
However, following a poor showing at an ODI series against New Zealand in Sri Lanka, Mathews stood down from the post across formats, with many - including former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga - believing that Mathews had been made a scapegoat for what had been the collective failure of the team.
30-year-old Mathews has been plagued by a calf injury all season. Sri Lanka played a Test series against Pakistan early last month, with Mathews forced to sit out the first Test due to the injury; at the time, however, he had been expected to play the second.
Mathews was eventually forced to sit out the entirety of the series due to the same injury.
Now, according to Ratnayake, Mathews will be taking it easy and batting rather than taking risks in aggravating his injury bowling.
"He has not bowled in a Test match for a while. I don't think he will bowl here. We consider him more as a white-ball bowler and will look to bowl him in the ODIs only," Ratnayake said.
Mathews also did not bowl when India toured Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The first of three Tests between India and Sri Lanka will be held at Kolkata's Eden Gardens on Monday, with Sri Lanka led by Dinesh Chandimal.
Mathews hit a number of bowling milestones in the past few years and is not short on talent with the leather. The decision by team management to rest the player after a tough year is a good one, and it will give Mathews time to recuperate from what has been a physically and mentally taxing year, to be refreshed for the season ahead.