Fearless Sri Lanka ready for England test - Mathews


Angelo Mathews is confident Sri Lanka's new-look squad are ready to step up to the challenge and upset England on home soil again.

Since Sri Lanka's last visit to England in 2014 - when they piled the pressure on Alastair Cook - they have seen experienced duo Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene retire, leaving a massive whole in Mathews' batting line-up.

Youngster Kusal Mendis is one of those players handed the responsibility of filling the void, and Mathews is confident his side are ready for the challenge of facing a resurgent England.

"Yes [last time] is certainly an inspiration, it has gone down as history for us, but we have to move on and look forward to the challenge that starts tomorrow," he told a media conference.

"We have to play our best cricket in the next five days to beat England.

"They've been playing really good cricket in the recent past, and we all know we haven't got the two legends now. But we have to move on, we've got a whole bunch of new players but we have got some experience and have got a fearless set of players who are willing to take the English on.

"We are up for the challenge, we have been preparing ourselves so hopefully we can put up a good show."

Dhammika Prasad will not feature after injuring his shoulder during a tour match with Essex, and Mathews acknowledges his absence will be a big loss.

He added: "It is a setback for us, he is our premier fast bowler.

"He has performed well against England, so will be a big loss. Hopefully he can be fit and ready for the second Test."