Jasprit Bumrah should play consistently for Indian cricket team: Lasith Malinga
Jasprit Bumrah is a special talent and he should get regular chances to play for the Indian cricket team, believes Mumbai Indians bowling coach Lasith Malinga.Updated: Feb 17, 2018 14:32 IST
Lasith Malinga will be Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season. In an exclusive interview on the sidelines of Ice Cricket event in St Moritz (Switzerland), the Sri Lankan bowler spoke on topics ranging from IPL to Sri Lankan cricket.
Having worked closely with Jasprit Bumrah at Mumbai Indians, how pleased are you with him?
He has experience, he knows (how to handle) pressure, so many people at the Wankhede Stadium are cheering (for him). He has played with so many good players; he bowls in those challenging periods. He has learned a lot, and that is why he has achieved what he has. Now he is in the Test team, I am really happy that he got a five-wicket haul in South Africa. This means he has now arrived in world cricket. I want him to play, maybe, another 10 years, without any injuries. I want him to play consistently for India.
If you have to pick the best Test bowling attack at present, which one would you choose?
I can pick bowlers such as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit, (Kagiso) Rabada… very hard to say this team has a good bowling attack but some of the players are at the top in Test cricket.
How do you see Sri Lanka going ahead, especially with an injury-prone Angelo Mathews as limited-overs captain?
I think after 2015, all the experienced players finished their careers, such as (Tillakaratne) Dilshan, (Kumar) Sangakkara, Mahela (Jayawardene), even Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan). We have to get another (bunch of) players who can handle international cricket. We have good cricketers in (Dinesh) Chandimal, Angelo (Mathews), Kusal (Mendis), (Akila) Dhananjaya, I think they need time. No one can become a world-class player in one night.
How much more time do you think Sri Lanka need?
I really want Sri Lanka to bounce back before 2019 World Cup. But still it is too early. They need another two to three years, but these players have to be consistent. (Maybe) then we can have a strong team.
How did you take Kusal Mendis’ absence from India tour? Was it a wrong selection call?
Yeah, definitely (it was a wrong selection call). Kusal Mendis is doing a really good job for us in Test cricket. He has shown (how good he can be) in Tests; he has three scores of 150 or more. He has the ability to score big runs.
For someone who has taken more than 400 Test wickets, do you think Rangana Herath has had less recognition than the others in the list?
Whatever he has done, everything is there in the books. Someone might be popular, someone else might not be. But whatever they are doing in international cricket, everything is there in the books. Whoever knows and understands cricket, they know. Rangana is the highest left-arm wicket-taker, he has got 400 wickets, and has done a good job for Sri Lanka, (especially) after Murali. We won so many Tests because of him. He is a legend for us, after Murali.
Do you think Sri Lanka needs IPL-like T20 tournament to discover new players?
Definitely. We had SLPL (Sri Lanka Premier League) only once, but we know (any) country that has (their) premier league, before they (players) come to international cricket they know how to handle pressure situations. They are mentally prepared. They can learn a lot from these leagues.
What is your take on the rise of leg-spinners?
They are always the wicket-taking option. Be it one-dayers or T20Is, we need that option. In any bowling line-up (there should be) two wicket-taking options, be it two fast bowlers or wrist spinners. If any team can find that option, it’s really good. We know guys like (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Kuldeep (Yadav) or the Afghan guy (Rashid Khan) are doing really good job. Sri Lanka too have wrist spinners, maybe someone like Jeffrey Vandersay. This period is going to be spinners’, they are really good options for any team.
Can T20 cricket help promote cricket in Europe?
T20 cricket is good, it requires all skills. Everyone has time to see the match because (an innings lasts) only one-and-a-half-hours, altogether three hours. They can come and watch and still do whatever they want to (in the remainder of the day). This (Ice Cricket event) is a good way to introduce cricket (in Europe).
First Published: Feb 17, 2018 09:31 IST