Mathews wary of Cook and conditions

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is looking forward to the ODI series against England and is confident of doing well, but is wary of the change in conditions and the return of some senior players for England.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is looking forward to the ODI series against England and is confident of doing well, but is wary of the change in conditions and the return of some senior players for England.

Sri Lanka are unbeaten this year in ODIs, but the English wickets and weather will be new to some, and out of practice for others, despite some warm up games. Mathews is also aware of the impact Alastair Cook and James Anderson will have on the hosts.

Mathews said ahead of the first match at The Oval: "We have prepared well, and started training back at home early, because we knew the conditions were going to be tough for us.

"The English team is always very hard to beat on home soil. In the T20 (SL won by nine runs), they gave us a really good fight, and it was a very close game.

"There will be a couple of experienced guys – James Anderson and Alastair Cook – joining their team, and it will make it even harder for us. Alastair and James are very experienced campaigners, and offer a lot to the English team, but we're prepared for that.

"We all know James is a very good bowler. But we're not concentrating on any one individual. They have a bowling line-up who can run through a batting order."

New coach Marvan Atapattu reiterated that conditions would be tricky, but they were bringing a lot of confidence, borne of two trophy wins in recent months and victory in the one-off T20 earlier in the week.

Atapattu said: "The T20 win was a morale-booster. We always had confidence coming from a World Cup victory. We needed that win to tell ourselves that we are good enough to compete against these guys on their home soil.

"We believe if we play our best cricket, we can put any team under pressure. From England's point of view, they have gone through a couple of shaky series and have a new management and a couple of new players.

"But we are most concerned with how we perform in English conditions to meet the challenge."

He added that consultant Chris Adams, former Surrey coach, had been helpful in this regard: "We've got a lot of information from him – especially the ground conditions, the wickets.

"We are trying to get as much as we can from him, because he's been playing the game for so many years in counties."

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