Angelo retorts, signals fitness, verifies ten quick pushups flexing his biceps – By Sunil Thenabadu(Sports editor – elanka)
Upon reaching his fighting rearguard ninth Test hundred on the fourth day in the first Test in Basin Reserve, Wellington, Angelo Mathews was probably in alternative excavation at the verdict to expel him from the shorter formats performed 10 quick pushups followed by flexing his biceps in the direction of the dressing room. This act was undoubtedly specifically for the coach Chandika Hathurusingha – who with the members of the ex-selection committees were responsible for the hasty decision to drop him. This action of Angelo was no doubt was looked on by the head coach from the pavilion. This was to convince to him that he had no fitness and running between the wicket’s issues anymore. Angelo let his emotions exhibit for the second time after he let his “bat to do the talking”.
Mathews was axed as ODI captain then dropped from Sri Lanka’s shorter format teams entirely based on what Hathurusingha and the former selector’s opinion, who had only said later were on fitness grounds. Accusing Angelo of having had several injury layoffs over the past two years, with his hamstrings and calves giving him specific distress. Following Mathews’ omission from the shorter formats, Hathurusingha had also called into question on Mathews’ running between the wickets, relating the number of run outs sanctioning he had been involved in a “world record”. This was totally disproved by Angelo batting through more than an entire day.
However, this meticulous partnership with Kusal Mendis facing a monumental first innings deficit batting together for over a day and for a further fifty minutes on day five before the rain interrupted bringing an anticlimax to the Test desires a very tall commendation. New Zealand Skipper Kane Williamson had this to say: Two guys put their hands up and didn’t ‘t give us an opportunity for a day We tried bowling short from around the wicket. They tried bowling full to tempt a loose drive, with plenty of catching men in front of square to snaffle a low chance. Also bowled their spinner unchanged from one end for an entire session, then switched around their quicks so the ones who were running into the wind, now had the breeze behind them. There were short legs, square gullies, short mid-ons, every variation of the fine leg imaginable, leg slips, wide slips, and at one point, a fly slip. But through the course of 108.4 overs, the duo Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis dodged every arrow New Zealand fired at them. We only praise the opposition batsmen for their epic feat of endurance. He further said “I don’t think I’ve been part of a game where two guys have batted a whole day. Not only did they not lose their wickets, they refused to give the opposition so much as a half chance. There were no strong lbw shouts, and no edges that dropped just short though a few balls did beat the bat. At the end of it all, New Zealand Skipper Kane Williamson felt he could not fault his own team for effort or creativity, could only hail the epic test of endurance of the duo.
This grueling partnership of batting through the entire day was performed after ten years and ten months for the 22nd time in the history of Test cricket after South African opening pair of ND McKenzie and GC Smith performed against Bangladesh in February 2008.It should be stated that it was Asanka Gurusinghe and Arjuna Ranatunga who performed this feat first for Sri Lanka in year 1986. Then Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama duo batted together for over two full days breaking a long-standing world record in year 1998 against India which was superseded in year 2006 by Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara against South Africa.
In his letter of resignation Mathews had stated that he felt betrayed as most decisions are usually taken collectively by the coach and selection committee, his part is only miniature hence the entire blame for the debacle cannot be positioned on him, but he is willing to take only a slice of the responsibility. He says he had been very unethically named as the ‘scapegoat’ of the Asia Cup Saga.
After Angelo performed admirably in the Galle Test with fighting half ton’s coach Hathurusinghe had made a sarcastic comment that there had been a development in his fitness and attitude since been axed from the shorter formats. Angelo had retorted saying there had been no difference in his preparation for the three Test series as it was predominately his usual self. All these had made Angelo more energetic. The pushups he performed, showing his biceps directed towards the dressing room was in resentment to his allegations. “Bravo Angelo” for your resentments appropriately divulged to those guilty initially letting your “bat to do the talking” and this time with “quick pushups flexing his biceps