Cornered Malinga converts and pleads media TO back team | Sunday Observer

Cornered Malinga converts and pleads media TO back team

Lasith Malinga  talks to coach Mickey Arthur at the lauch of Sri Lanka  versus West Indies series
Lasith Malinga talks to coach Mickey Arthur at the lauch of Sri Lanka versus West Indies series

Nearly a decade after he abused journalists from the Sinhala mainstream, Lasith Malinga has decided to hang up his spurs and plead with the media to back his team ahead of the T20 home series against the West Indies.

Malinga made the appeal at the launch of the showdown this week as his iconic Mumbai Indians franchise team-mate and rival captain Kieron Pollard gazed at him almost adoringly while reporters fired questions over his probable ouster should the two-match encounter end up in flames.

“We need your (media) efforts to ensure the players are in the right frame of mind to perform and I know you can help lift their morale,” said Malinga.

Team selector Ashantha de Mel who has already warned that he will not tolerate any more defeats with Malinga as captain sat among reporters making serious note of Malinga’s comments.

Malinga has never had a College upbringing in the sport and finds himself under extreme pressure following a string of defeats that included series drubbings against India and Australia where an impending T-20 World Cup is on the cards in October.

But the ageing bowler now believes it is not only him who should bite the bullet all the time but several of the big guns who have failed to fire that has let down the team.

“Although it’s a team game, individual performances matter. At least five or six players from the playing Eleven must deliver to their best and only when this happens can the team play competitive cricket and pose a challenge. “In the recent past whether it is batting or bowling we did not have these individual performances and you can’t play consistent cricket without it,” said Malinga.

A veteran of over one hundred T20s Malinga contends that whether in the role of captaincy or as a free bird, fulfilling his task as an individual was not an issue to probe deep.

He could probably move out having seen T20 cricket transformed into a baseball-like contest where clouting the ball out of the ground ensures favourable results most of the time.

“If you look at the trend now it is about defending 180 to 220 totals and here is where the batsmen should stand up and give the bowlers something to defend.

“For me it is about doing what I am called upon to do even without being in the role of the captain,” he said.

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