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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

IPL 2019: Lasith Malinga reveals name of Mumbai Indians teammate he is scared to bowl to

IPL 2019: Speaking about Hardik Pandya’s brilliance, Malinga said that he would not want to bowl to the Indian all-rounder in the upcoming ODI World Cup.

cricket Updated: Apr 16, 2019 18:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mumbai Indians (MI) player Lasith Malinga celebrates after claiming the wicket of Dwayne Bravo during the Indian Premier League 2019 (IPL T20) cricket match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Mumbai Indians (MI) player Lasith Malinga celebrates after claiming the wicket of Dwayne Bravo during the Indian Premier League 2019 (IPL T20) cricket match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.(PTI)
         

It is one thing to enjoy seeing your IPL teammate smash opposition bowlers to all parts of the ground and a completely different thing to think about bowling to him in the World Cup in a couple of months time. Lankan legend Lasith Malinga is not one of those to shy away from the reality as he readily accepts that he would be ‘really scared’ to bowl to Hardik Pandya when India take on Sri Lanka in the ICC ODI World Cup on July 6 at Leeds in England.

Pandya smashed an unbeaten 37 off 16 balls on Monday night to help Mumbai Indians chase down a tricky 172-run target with an over to spare.

Mumbai needed 22 runs from the last two overs but Hardik took just six balls to hit the required runs, smashing left-arm spinner Pawan Negi for two boundaries and as many sixes to end the run chase.

ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya wants to prove a point with bat and ball - Rohit Sharma

Speaking about Pandya’s brilliance, Malinga said that he would not want to bowl to the Indian all-rounder in the upcoming ODI World Cup.

“I am really scared to bowl to him at the World Cup. If I play against him, I will be scared because we know he is in a really good touch now. Yes, I think we have to restrict him and if we can get an early wicket, I will do that,” Lasith Malinga told Mumbai Indians on Monday. 

Pandya has been in golden form in this IPL. He has smashed 186 runs at a strike rate of 191.75 in just eight innings. In fact, he has been the perfect finisher for Mumbai Indians in this IPL.

“I have been doing that for the last four years now. That’s my role in any team I play for. I have been practicing at the nets the same thing. It is about the situation. You play according to situation and if you are smart enough, you will more often get the result you desire.”

He is expected to play a major role in this year’s World Cup campaign and IPL seems to be providing a good preparation for him.

ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya wants to prove a point with bat and ball - Rohit Sharma

“It is pretty important to always have the confidence behind you. The World Cup is a big stage. It is for the first time that I will be playing (a World Cup). It is important for me to keep hitting the ball well. I was away from the game for some time, so coming back it was important for me to hit well”, he said

Looking ahead to the World Cup in England, Hardik said if the conditions were similar to those during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, India will have the advantage.

“We have to see the conditions because the last time we went, a lot of people told me that it will be swinging, it will be nice and cold but eventually, I have never played on such a flat wickets before.

“It will depend on the situation and the conditions. If it’s the same conditions that we encountered in the Champions Trophy, it will be a help for us”, he declared.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 18:16 IST

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