Mathews: We can cope without duo

  • Last Updated: October 29 2012, 11:02 GMT

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is convinced the absence of two star names will not affect their chances of winning the one-off Twenty20 international against New Zealand.

Jayawardene and Malinga: Rested by Sri Lanka

The Black Caps begin their tour of the island in Pallekele on Tuesday, with five one-day internationals and two Test matches to follow the T20.

Sri Lanka's line-up will see a number of changes from the side which lost out to West Indies in the final of the World Twenty20 earlier this month.

All-rounder Mathews has been handed the captaincy in place of Mahela Jayawardene, who resigned as skipper in the format after their defeat to the West Indies.

In addition, opener Jayawardene has been rested for Tuesday's match along with paceman Lasith Malinga.

Mathews said in the Daily Mirror: "The selectors wanted to give these two cricketers a rest.

"Their absence from the team is a big loss, but with the squad I have been given I am confident we can win."

Spinner Ajantha Mendis is ruled out through injury.

New Zealand will also have some familiar faces missing with spinner Daniel Vettori injured and batsman Martin Guptill only taking part in the Tests.

The Black Caps failed to get past the Super Eight stage at the World T20, which was hosted by the Sri Lankans, although Jacob Oram is hopeful there will be an improved performance from the team on this trip.

"If we play well we are confident that we can win," said the all-rounder.

"We do appreciate that Sri Lanka is a very good side in their home conditions and more than a match for us at times, but we have enough talent.

"We've got to make sure the talent comes out at the right time."


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