Malinga looks forward to cranking it up

Where there is Lasith Malinga,excitement can’t be too far behind. The maverick with the curly golden locks,pierced eyebrows and slingshot action is back....

Written by G.S. Vivek | Colombo | Published:February 10, 2009 1:52 am

Where there is Lasith Malinga,excitement can’t be too far behind. The maverick with the curly golden locks,pierced eyebrows and slingshot action is back,having spent the last two weeks sitting impatiently before his television set watching Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh tear the Lankan bowling attack to shreds. Returning to the field in Tuesday’s Twenty20 match against India after a 12-month break,he is now eager to reset the equation.

But Malinga doesn’t know whether he will be as lethal as he was before his break,because of a surgery on his right knee. “I am waiting to see the readings on the speedometer. I am quite excited to know what it shows,” he said on Monday.

“I can’t wait to go out there,mark my run-up and bowl at top speed. I understand that there’s a lot of hype about me bowling to Sehwag,Yuvraj and Gautam Gambhir,but I really never care about the batsman or his reputation. To me it means nothing who’s batting against me. I have made my preparations,and when I run in I’ll be thinking about where I have to pitch it and what pace I have to bowl. I don’t think about how the batsman will react.”

Twenty20 cricket is considered the toughest test for the bowler,but Malinga is confident he’ll wade through its murky waters. “There’s nothing sweeter than wearing the national colours again,irrespective of what format. I have been training hard,playing club cricket,and I know exactly what has to be done. One has to get the basics right because the pressure is really on the batsmen,” he said.

His skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan is equally excited about the fast bowler’s inclusion in the team. “He’s looking in good form,having bowled a lot in club cricket. This Twenty20 match will give him an opportunity to bowl just four overs at full throttle to test himself at the international level,” Dilshan said.

It was a difficult time away from cricket for Malinga. For weeks,he couldn’t walk without crutches,he couldn’t train for long,and he even lost the central contract,which was restored by political intervention after a bitter outcry against the Sri Lankan board’s high-handedness.

Malinga missed the inaugural IPL but will be seen in action in the second edition with the Mumbai Indians. “The IPL was good fun to watch,and very popular. It’ll be great to finally play in it,” he said. When asked about his T20 strategy for Tuesday,Malinga’s simply said: “I just want to take wickets. That’s the plan.”

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results
    Express Adda