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Mathews set to play as batsman against India

Angelo Mathews is set to make a return for Sri Lanka
Angelo Mathews is set to make a return for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka have received a much needed boost ahead of their must-win clash against India on Thursday with skipper Angelo Mathews declared fit to play as a batsman.

The news couldn't have come at a better time after stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga was handed a two-match ban by the International Cricket Council for his team's poor over-rate in the opening game of the tournament against South Africa.

Speaking to ThePapare.com, the 30-year-old confirmed full fitness but insisted he will not be bowling.

"The injury is much better now," said Mathews.

"I could have probably played the last game, but there was a chance of risk, so the management and the selectors decided that I shouldn't play.

"But I'm fully fit now. I won't be bowling, but I'm fully fit to play as a batsman."

Mathews also described the loss of Tharanga as a massive setback and urged the players on the field to be supportive to the captain in enabling them to avoid such incidents in future.

"It is a big loss, and there's no excuses.

"You need to try and support the captain on the field.

"Rather than him planning to bowl the 50 overs in that time, the others have to look after that and the captain has to get on with the game and make decisions in the middle."

Sri Lanka will need convincing victories against India and Pakistan and will be other results to go their way as well in order to have a chance to make it to semi-final.

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