How would you describe 16 wickets in six matches? Isn't this an outstanding statistic, especially in a format tailor-made for batsmen? But that's what Lasith Malinga has managed to achieve in the IPL so far and has been one of the biggest weapons of the Mumbai Indian attack. This is just a mind-boggling figure keeping in mind that you only get to bowl four overs in one game.
His more than a decade-long career in international cricket makes me vouch that Malinga is one of the best limited-over fast bowler I have seen. His accuracy, consistency and timing to strike when it matters are just amazing.THE TOE-CRUSHER
I think most of the batsmen find his action difficult to read. He comes from a very low trajectory with round arm slinging action. And, he operates at such a good pace that you just can’t relax. If you lose your concentration, your stumps would be rattled. If not the stumps, then your toe will surely be damaged.
The most remarkable aspect about Malinga's bowling is that there is no rocket science in terms of what he is going to throw at you. His line and length is very precise and predictable. All batsmen know what Malinga will bowl. He will bowl yorkers of all varieties --- slow or swinging, low full toss or right at the toe --- mixed with slow bouncers. But the speed and accuracy with which he operates is outstanding. In T20, where every ball is important, most of the teams decide to play him safe.
HOURS OF GRIND
These deadly yorkers and incredible consistency have come with hours of hard work and toil. To control your line and length at this pace and with this action is not easy. But he has worked over the years to hone this extraordinary skill. Not many know that in the nets, he used a special drill to develop this venomous yorker. He would keep a pair of shoes on the popping crease and target them.
Looking at his coloured curly hair, a lot of people get the impression that he has a flamboyant personality. Contrary to that, he is a very reserved and harmless character. But give a bowl in his hand, and you'll pray for the safety of your stumps or toes. Let's hope this 'Malinga Magic' continues for the Mumbai Indians.