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Adaptation key for Mathews

Angelo Mathews is aware Sri Lanka must adapt quickly to English conditions ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Mathews succeeded Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka’s Test and one-day international captain in February, prior to home series against Bangladesh the following month.

Following his team’s arrival in England, Mathews said: “We've been playing in low, slow conditions and very hot and humid conditions in the past couple months. I think trying to adjust is going to be the main challenge, especially early summer it is always going to be like this, wet, and it's going to swing and seam. 

“I think that's our main challenge as batters especially.

“We've got to try and adapt to the situations and the conditions as soon as possible. We need to try and make the most out of the nine, 10 days that we have prior to our first game (against New Zealand in Cardiff on June 9).”

The Sri Lanka batting line-up is full of experience, boasting the likes of Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakarra - who between them have over 21,000 one-day international runs.

“We've got the experience in our team and the youngsters, so I think the balance is right in our team,” added Mathews.

“They've been here; they've done it, and I have the confidence in them.  I'm really proud to have these guys in my team because I can get a lot of information and help. I think the experience is really vital for our team.”

Mathews is aware Sri Lanka face a challenge in attempting to progress from Group A, which includes England and Australia as well as their first opponents New Zealand.

However, he points to good performances in past international competitions - Sri Lanka have reached the final of the last two World Cups and World Twenty20s - as reasons for optimism.

“Australia and New Zealand - they're quite used to the conditions, especially in England, and with the two new balls, it's going to be tough,” Mathews said.

“But I think our boys are up for the challenge, and if we want to go far in the tournament, I think we've got to beat all the teams that come our way.

“I think at this point our main objective is to try and get to the semi-finals, but I think that's too far ahead. We need to try to take one game at a time and try and win those.

“We’ve done pretty well in past World Cups - in the Twenty20s, and 50-over World Cups - so I think we've got to a stage where we've done pretty well and lasted from there. So I think if we can get this right this time, it would be awesome.

“We have played so many finals and semi-finals and lost it from there. But as for now, our main objective is to try to get to the semi-finals. I think that's a platform because we need to raise the bar a bit.”

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