Mathews has no idea how Pakistan will play

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has admitted he has no idea what Pakistan will do in the first Test in Galle, given they have not played a Test since January, while his own side have played three more series since then.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has admitted he has no idea what Pakistan will do in the first Test in Galle, given they have not played a Test since January, while his own side have played three more series since then.

Pakistan's last series, nearly eight months ago, saw the three-match event against Sri Lanka drawn. They've been out of Test action since then, though Sri Lanka go into Galle having played six further matches.

The skipper said: "Pakistan have had a good rest whereas we've been playing continuous cricket. It's always good to get a bit of a rest as well, to refresh your minds and bodies. That's the challenge we are facing as players.

"When you're playing constantly, you get drained mentally and physically. But the challenge for us is to try and be consistent. It works both ways. They can be a bit rusty, but you never know.

"They are very unpredictable. They come out all guns blazing. They are a very formidable team when it comes to Tests."

Adding to the fatigue factor, Mathews rued the fact that he hardly ever has his premier pace bowlers in the same side, with Suranga Lakmal out of action just as Shaminda Eranga is fit again.

Mathews said: "Eranga is fully fit but with Suranga out of the series, either Eranga or Suranga have been injured from the Bangladesh series onwards. We didn't have both of them together – which would have been a very formidable attack.

"But I still have good options in Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep. They've bowled pretty well in the recent past. And the two spinners have been bowling magnificently.

"I feel that I've got the bowling attack to take 20 wickets."

The skipper then said it was 'unfortunate' that spinner Rangana Herath had to shoulder much of the burden, but that the home pitches were suited to spin and that he had to rely on his premier wicket-taker.

He said: "We get a lot of slow turning tracks here and the spinners come into play more often than not. Rangana has been our No.1 spinner for so many years now, after Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement.

"Playing in Sri Lanka, it's unfortunate that he has to bowl a lot of overs, but that's the truth."

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