Youngsters filling void left by Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan: Mathews

| Updated: Dec 24, 2016 23:16 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Dec.24 (ANI): Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews believes that young players in his side are ready to step up and fill the vaccum left by recently-retired legendary cricketers. Following a 0-2 defeat at the hands of England, it is believed that Lanka might struggle to replace the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. However, the young group of players went on to seal a 0-3 series whitewash of Australia before clinching a Test series win against Zimbabwe. And Mathews insisted that his side now also hold a great chance to clinch the forthcoming Test series against South Africa. "When Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan retired it created a vacuum in the team, but the youngsters have taken it up well. We saw in the Australia series that the youngsters like Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva were standing up. It's great to see them coming through," Sport24 quoted Mathews as saying. Talking about South Africa, the Lankan skipper admitted that the Faf du Plessis-led side performed incredibly well in the three-match successful series against Australia, but at the same time also backed his team to put their best despite their poor record on quick tracks. "South Africa have been playing extremely good cricket against Australia.They went over to Australia and beat the Australians, which is not an easy thing to do. If we play to our potential - we've got the skills. We've done it in the past," Mathews said. The 29-year-old, however, said the team would not dwell too much on their lack of experience in South Africa and would only focus on putting their best foot forward. "No one has played any Test matches or one-dayers here from this touring party. We've heard so many things but, we will not think about it too much because we're not sure what we're going to get. We'll look at it closer on the day before the match," he insisted. Lanka will aim to continue their winning momentum when they take on the Proteas in the three-match series beginning at the St. George's Oval on December 26. (ANI)