Sri Lankas unconventional fast bowler Lasith Malinga went wicketless the other day against India. It is not often that the fast bowler doesnt figure among the wicket-takers in one of his short but fast spells.
Indias first wicket stand of 30 between Karthik and Virender Sehwag lasted 8.5 overs,of which three were bowled by Malinga. Karthik faced 16 of those balls. It was another mean spell from Malinga,during which Karthiks rib cage was targeted. Karthik made just 10 from 35 balls and fell after cutting against Angelo Mathews and getting caught at third man.
On Thursday,it was clear that the young Indian batsmen were giving Malingas art of bowling a lot of thought.
During a morning practice session,which was optional,Karthik spent a good amount of time at the nets,talking about his experience of facing the Sri Lankan paceman to Suresh Raina,Saurabh Tiwary and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The trajectory the ball takes,once it leaves Malingas hand,was a point of interest. Coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Eric Simmons were also at hand.
Interestingly,one of the Sri Lanka Cricket net bowlers had a round arm action and the India coaching staff made full use of this bowler. He bowled to Raina,Tiwary,Karthik and Jadeja,after which Simmons tried to simulate a similar action when delivering throw downs.
Malinga has a dangerous mixture of a good bouncer and an equally potent late dipping yorker in his arsenal. He is Sri Lankas strike bowler. The Indians have to get under the bouncer during this one-day series,but both the Sri Lankan and New Zealand bowlers have used this particularly delivery generously. Malinga will be a bowler the Indians wont want to succumb to because he has a tendency to take wickets in a heap.
In all,seven India players attended the optional training session,including Pragyan Ojha,Munaf Patel and Abhimanyu Mithun. The Indian team management has specifically asked for the bowler with the round-arm action to be present at the nets on Friday,when the full team is expected to attend training,ahead of their game against Sri Lanka on Sunday.