Our fitness not up to standard: Mathews

Our fitness not up to standard: Mathews

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imagesSri Lanka skipper scathing in his assessment of team as they face ‘tough’ match-up with visiting Australians

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews has blamed fitness issues for his team’s disastrous tour of England tour but is hopeful the advantage of home conditions will aid his team in their looming match-up against a tough Australian side.

The Sri Lanka team returned home after losing the Test series 2-0, the five-match ODI series 3-0 (with one tie and one washout) and also conceding the only Twenty20 international in chilly English conditions.

“Fitness was a big issue, as the captain I am disappointed with our battling, bowling and fielding,” Mathews told reporters in Colombo.

“We have to improve in all departments.”

However, he thanked loyal local fans for not mocking them for their dismal performance.

“From the officials at the airport (in Colombo) to others we met on the way, they have been very supportive at a time when we are down,” he said.

“This support means a lot to us.”

Asked about preparations for the home series against Australia which begins on July 26 in Kandy, Mathews said he wanted to address fitness issues plaguing the young team which saw five bowlers suffer injuries during the England tour. Mathews himself was injured.

He could not say how long the team would require to fully recover from the void created by the retirements of legends such as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

“It will take a bit of time. I have been saying that for the past few months as well,” Mathews said.

“But we are doing the right things at the moment. We are not winning games, but we are seeing improvements day by day.”