Mathews advocates for playing on ball’s merit in 3rd Test

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews believes in playing on the ball’s merit and that the prime target of a batsman should be scoring runs.

"You've got to play on merit," Mathews said. "When the bowler is bowling well you've got to respect him, and whenever you get the loose ball, you try and capitalise on it. It's a bit of a balance of both. You can't go negative, you can't go over-positive. Cricket is a game where you have to score runs. Whether you score 100 off 300 balls or whether you score 100 off 70 balls it doesn't matter, as long as you work your game out. You just need to score runs,” he said.

He added, "Yes, we have been repeating the same mistakes, which is frustrating. But we've got a set of players who are looking to score runs and I always encourage that. And yes, by looking to score runs in these conditions maybe you can get a good ball. Even if the ball is not good enough, you can still get out because of the conditions."

Mathews advocated for the same XI in the upcoming Newlands Test against South Africa. "The selectors are looking long-term," Mathews said. "Yes, they are two of the best batsmen we have. They are young and fearless and they want to score runs. Dhananjaya is quite matured - he has played a lot of first-class games, but Kusal Mendis hasn't. These are extremely talented guys and they are still learning the game. As they play more Tests, they will definitely keep learning."

Speaking about the Wanderers wicket, which is often labeled as quickest in the world, he said, "It looks a lot greener than the previous two wickets, so obviously there will be swing seam and bounce right throughout the Test match, which we kind of expect," Mathews said. "We've always expected a greentop when we tour South Africa. We've got to play on whatever we get. We will not complain or make a fuss about it."

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