Malinga may have to sit out in the second Test
The Galle Test will go down in history for being Muttiah Muralitharan's swansong. But the series-opener will also be remembered as Lasith Malinga's remarkable return to the longest format of the game. HT Correspondent reports.cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2010 00:28 IST
The Galle Test will go down in history for being Muttiah Muralitharan's swansong. But the series-opener will also be remembered as Lasith Malinga's remarkable return to the longest format of the game.
Malinga, playing at his home ground, registered his best with the ball and the bat to be deservingly named the Man of the Match.
However, the injury-prone fast bowler is not a guaranteed starter for the second Test, which starts at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Monday.
While Muraliatharan was busy signing souvenirs for some of his fans before leaving the Galle International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, Malinga, who had spent a better part of the day's play in the dressing room, was seen limping.
It was learnt that Malinga, whose match-tally of seven wickets took him within two wickets of becoming only the third Sri Lankan bowler to scalp 100 Test wickets, was a doubtful starter for the second Test.
However, the Sri Lankan team management remained optimistic.
"He is okay. It was just a slight strain in his leg. He should be alright," team manager Anura Tennekoon told the Hindustan Times on Friday evening. Understandably Kumar Sangakkara was full of praise for the slinger, while sounding a cautionary note.
“We've been trying to get Lasith play all forms of cricket for two years now. We believe in him immensely. “He's a fighter, works as hard as anyone I have seen. He prepares well to play matches for Sri Lanka. We don't want to bowl him into the ground," Sangakkara said.
If Malinga is forced to be benched for the second Test, there will certainly be relief in the Indian dressing-room.