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Anand Subramaniam in Hyderabad 04 April 2013 - 08:51pm IST

Pune Warriors look to a fresh start

Captain Matthews determined to take small steps towards team’s success

A young Sri Lankan, a young all rounder, a young captain of his Country’s Test and ODI national side; and now a captain for his IPL franchise. With so many roles vested upon a 25-year-old in such a short span of time, one wonders if Angelo Matthews’ shoulders are made of steel.

The moment an injured Michael Clarke was ruled out of the IPL this season for the Pune Warriors owing to a back injury, the mantle of captaincy was passed on to Angelo Mathews who will be captaining an IPL side for the first time in his four year IPL career.

Leading Sri Lanka and now leading the Pune Warriors in the IPL, one had to ask how he coped with so much of responsibility in such a short while.

“As a player you’ve got to adapt to the challenges that come your way. As a professional cricketer, you will face a lot of challenges in a different way throughout your cricketing career. You need to try and adapt to those challenges as quickly as possible.” replied a confident Mathews.

A big assignment for Mathews on the personal front, who looked positive of his team’s future ahead of their first match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. “I am extremely excited to be the captain of the Pune Warriors India. We have got a young and promising team on our hands and we as a unit are looking forward to win the first game.”

Pune finished with the wooden spoon last year, and their best result in the two editions they have been a part of; has been a second last position in 2011. The Pune Warriors captain looked to focus on the present rather than dwelling on the past results.

“It is going to be a fresh start, past it past and you’ve got to look forward to the future and I believe we have a great team and we will try to be at our best and be in the competition. We have to take it one step at a time and try and focus on our games and the way we play,” explained Mathews.

“It’s all about momentum in this format. We started off brilliantly in the last two editions, but unfortunately we couldn’t keep that momentum going. We will have to look at taking each game as it comes and try and be focused on the results of those games.”

The Pune Warriors camp was seen doing their regular drills at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday. The batsmen got their regular throw downs, the likes of Steve Smith and Marlon Samuels honed their fielding skills even as the rest of the team looked in good stead.

Mathews was happy he had a fit side at his disposal and a quality one at that. “We have got a whole heap of international players as well as the domestic players. So we are in a position were we can pick our best eleven. Yuvraj Singh is completely fit and he is going to be a major part of our squad in tomorrow’s game”.

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