Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka pace maestro Lasith Malinga has vowed to keep playing international cricket and added that he has no plans to call time on his illustrious career.
Since returning from a 19-month ODI absence, Malinga has struggled to live up to expectations as he has taken eight wickets in 11 ODIs at a disappointing average of 63.25. However, his statistics would read a lot better had eight catches not been dropped off his bowling.
“As a bowler, I’ve not been able to get wickets in the last couple of series,” Malinga said. “A lot of people have talked about that. In fact, there has been more talk in the last couple of months than in 14 previous years that I’ve played, but I’m used to that. But whenever someone is coming towards the end of their careers, there is failure. People talk about them not being fit enough, or not picking him.”
Even though his figures might tell a different story, Malinga insists that he is becoming more fit and starting to regain his groove.
“I was out for 19 months, but now I feel I am getting better,” he said. “Everyone knows how major my leg injuries are. Now that my leg is getting better, I’m doing all the treatment and all the rehabilitation. The fitness also is improving, and now I feel really comfortable to bowl 10 overs – I bowl consistently.”
In the ongoing ODI series against India, Malinga has repeatedly been seen talking to former India left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who is commentating on the action.
The duo have spoken about their time playing for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and how Malinga is coping with the hardships of international cricket. Furthermore, they have also talked about how Malinga can once again become a force to be reckoned with.
“Zak [Zaheer] is more of a seam and swing bowler, and I want to learn more of that kind of thing over the next few years,” Malinga said. “That’s what I talked with him. Every time I have an opportunity, we speak about my bowling action, and how I have to improve.
“Because guys like him are in the commentary box, they look at every single one of my body movements and my bowling action, and how I swing the ball, and they have a good idea of how I’m going now.”