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Malinga could prove killjoy at Dan’s den

cricket Updated: Apr 12, 2011 02:45 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Hindustan Times
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The World Cup showed how quickly the game is evolving - the spinners bowling the first 10 Powerplay overs, the pace bowlers being brought on as late as in the 25th over.

It seems there's simply no room for predictability in the modern era. Unless, of course, your name is Lasith Malinga.

He sounded another warning to batsmen in the Indian Premier League with a five-wicket burst against the Delhi Daredevils on Sunday, and showed that effective implementation can beat planning. The Royal Challengers Bangalore will be on a high after successfully chasing down a stiff target against Kochi, but Malinga is still expected to dominate the home team's meeting in preparation for the big clash at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan's game is not just about yorkers. His armoury has the sharp bouncer, slower ones. AB de Villiers and Co will also have to work out a way to counter the angle for the round arm which forces batsmen to open up their stance, leaving them vulnerable to away swing.

Virender Sehwag is not one to be impressed easily by bowlers. It's a tribute to Malinga's skills that the most feared batsman in the world spoke glowingly about the Mumbai Indians' pacer after Sunday's rout.

Twenty20 cricket is supposed to be a batsman's game; bowlers are there to make up numbers. But with five for 13 against Delhi, Malinga threatens to change that.

It's the battle with former colleague Zaheer Khan that could be a factor in the clash. Malinga taking on Tillakaratne Dilshan and Zaheer charging in to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar will be the key battles in the game.

It's a contest between two heavyweight teams, and keeping aside the Tendulkar factor, the top orders of the Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians even out. The visitors though bat deeper with Harbhajan Singh at No. 8.

Lack of spin options is also a concern for the Challengers. They are heavily dependent on skipper Daniel Vettori's left-arm spin and the part-time off-spin of Dilshan, while Harbhajan has an able partner in Ali Murtaza and the back up of Rohit Sharma.