India agree IPL has helped them play Malinga betterJuly 23, 2012, 8:23 pm
reporting from Suriyawewa
India’s top order batsman Virender Sehwag yesterday admitted that fast bowler Lasith Malinga’s presence in the Indian Premier League tournament, has helped his team to play him with ease.
Malinga is one of the valuable possessions of the Mumbai Indians owned by business tycoon, Mukesh Ambani.
The fast bowler last year disappointed many Sri Lankan fans when he announced his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 27, at a time Sri Lanka desperately needed a match winning bowler in the post-Muttiah Muralitharan era.
Malinga conceded 83 runs in the first ODI against India without taking a wicket, and his career figures against India have been awful, compared to his figures against other top teams like Australia, South Africa and England.
Malinga has taken 26 wickets in 24 matches against India, with career best figures of two for 22.
"We are playing Malinga in the IPL. Maybe that’s why," Sehwag told journalists yesterday, when he was asked for the reason why India played Malinga so well. "And we have played a lot of cricket against Sri Lanka and against Malinga. But he is a good bowler. He can win a game anytime, from any situation. We know that and we are aware of that," Sehwag told journalists.
Malinga’s commitment to Sri Lankan cricket has been under scrutiny, since the start of the IPL and he has been influenced on more than one occasion by his agent, who seems to be having substantial control over the direction Sri Lanka cricket is heading.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, however, denied claims that the IPL had anything to do with Malinga’s performance against India. "That’s their opinion," Jayawardene said yesterday, when he was told about Sehwag’s comments.
"Lasith has played for quite a while. If you take the Indian side, Dhoni bats well against him. The others don’t play him well. If you take that equation in, you have to look at Ajantha Mendis, who doesn’t play in the IPL, but the Indians handle him well, compared to other opponents. That’s something to do with the quality of their batting," Jayawardene further said.
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Last Updated May 25 2013 | 03:45 pm