New variation working perfectly for Malinga and MI

Lasith Malinga's new strategy to bowl round the wicket has worked in Mumbai Indians' favor which has pleased the team coach Mahela Jayawardene.

Lasith Malinga

Mumbai Indians' Lasith Malinga was in his element in its game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. The Sri Lankan bowler took three wickets to put the hosts on top. (The Hindu)   -  The Hindu

You don’t get to see Lasith Malinga bowling round the wicket too often in international cricket. But the Mumbai Indians pacer used the new variation to great effect on Sunday against Kolkata Knight Riders in the final league match of the Indian Premier League 2019.

The Sri Lankan pacer picked up 3-35 as Mumbai Indians restricted Kolkata to 133/7 in 20 Overs. SuryaKumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma easily chased down the target with 23 balls remaining and nine wickets in hand.

Mumbai Indians’ coach and Malinga’s former teammate Mahela Jayawardene, admitted that in a tournament like the IPL, it is important to try out newer ideas. Talking about unleashing Malinga from round the wicket, Jayawardene revealed, “We have been working on it for a week or so, trying to create a different angle because the batsmen (may be) getting used to him. That’s something we are practising.”

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“He had a good practice session yesterday and he felt very good. We told him it’s about time he tries it in a game. That’s a thing in modern day cricket, even though you have been a great, you still have to find new ways of creating things. It was nice to see him opening up for that idea and getting rewards,” Jayawardene said.

Jayawardene also hailed the impact of the experienced Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga in the Mumbai Indians' dressing room.   -  IPL

 

Even though he has played 10 games this season and has scalped 15 wickets, it was not an easy campaign for Malinga. In the early stages of the tournament, he had to shuttle between India and Sri Lanka to strike a balance between the IPL and Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament back home.

“It’s good to see him trying different things and it was not easy for him. He had to go to Sri Lanka, play a few games and come back. So, we had to manage,” Jayawardene said.

And Jayawardene felt that the presence of Malinga, bowling coach Shane Bond and Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan, has helped Mumbai Indians immensely.

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“They bring a lot of experience in the sense that calmness to the group. Lot of youngsters feed of that. Bumrah and all those guys. It’s a very good group that we got with Bondy, Zak, Mali. We have got a lot of experience playing in different parts of the world, in different conditions. We try and grasp that,” he said.

Mumbai’s pace department has fared well this season, with Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya picking up a combined total of 46 wickets.

“At the death, we have seen a lot of teams scoring runs and we wanted to have something different. Bumrah has been fantastic for us. To add to that Malinga. Hardik as well bowled really well for us at the back-end in quite a few games, so that gives us a fairly good options,” Jayawardene said.

Mumbai Indians will next take on Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs first qualifier match at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium, Chennai on Tuesday.