World Cup 2019: Bumrah is a quick learner, says Mumbai Indians teammate Malinga

The Sri Lankan pacer believes he has more to offer and is not planing to hang up his boots anytime soon.

Lasith Malinga believes his Mumbai Indians teammate Jasprit Bumrah (R) would be unbeatable in a year's time.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

At a time when most of his contemporaries have either called it a day or are contemplating retirement, Lasith Malinga continues to spearhead the Sri Lankan pace bowling attack. At 35, he is hungry for more success. Contrary to speculations and reports, he wants to play for another year or two for the national team.

Before hitting the nets, the pace ace walks up to Sportstar and says with a smile, “You have got questions, huh? Shoot…”

And, we get going….

You have had a memorable World Cup. How would you rate it?

I am happy to play for the national team, especially since this is my last World Cup. I really enjoyed it. There is a good (camaraderie) between the senior and young players. I don’t take any pressure; try to stay relaxed and play my natural game.

Jasprit Bumrah has time and again admitted that you have helped him immensely at Mumbai Indians…

(Laughs) When I met ‘Boom’ for the first time in 2013, he was a young kid. He had pace, but the only thing lacking was accuracy. But he was always willing to learn and was extremely committed to the game. He soon realised that in T20s, only skilful players can survive. He learned everything quickly — be it the slower ball, in-swinger or out-swinger. He has that confidence and that’s why he is No. 1 now. I don’t think he has any pressure. That’s why he can deliver six yorkers and one slow ball at ease. I hope in the next one year he improves on how to analyse a game. Then, nobody can beat him. Trust me on that.

There were talks that you will announce retirement after the World Cup. Is that true?

After the World Cup, I plan to play a little more before ending my ODI career. I want to share my knowledge with young bowlers after that…

Does that mean you will take up a coaching role?

These days, the focus is a bit too much on bio-mechanics and I don’t like that. I don’t want theories, I want results... that’s my approach. I want to share my experience with the youngsters and tell them how to handle situations, sharpen their skills and help them to analyse the game. These are the things bio-mechanics won’t teach you. I can do that once I quit the game. But that will happen only after a year or two, once I hang up my boots (laughs).

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