“We are a pretty young, inexperienced team, but a few of us have played in England. Anyone can change a game at any given stage. We have got the talent, the skill in the team, it’s just that we have to go out there and express ourselves,” he said.
The ‘x-factor’ for Sri Lanka could be Lasith Malinga, who is included in the squad and is in line for a first one-day appearance since 2015.
Now almost exclusively playing in Twenty20 cricket, Malinga enters the tournament fully fit according to his skipper, who is optimistic the 33-year-old fast bowler can shine in the longer format.
Mathews said: “(Malinga) is fully fit. We look forward to utilising him in the matches. He is very keen, he got here a few days back. He’s very keen to get on the park. He hasn’t played 50-over games in the recent past but he has played a lot of games in the IPL which is very intense.
“He’s been doing a lot of training as well. He is confident, we are confident as well. We all know he is a match winner, he has proven himself over the past many years. He can win us a game single-handedly, so we are looking forward to it.”
Sri Lanka will kick off their campaign against South Africa before the two matches against its sub-continental rivals.
And despite a surprise loss to Scotland in a warm-up game, quickly avenged two days later, Mathews believes his side will be ready for English conditions.
He added: “It was just a practice game for us, we rested a few players. In an ideal scenario, we would have bowled first but I wanted our batters to bat in those conditions when the wicket is fresh.