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Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga blames anxiety after heavy 4th ODI loss to India

India defeated Sri Lanka by 168 runs to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match ODI series in Colombo.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 31, 2017 23:42 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
India vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India,Lasith Malinga
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga proved quite costly in the fourth ODI against India in Colombo on Thursday.(Reuters)

Sri Lanka stand-in skipper Lasith Malinga blamed the anxiety of his inexperienced players to somehow come good as the main reason behind the 168-run defeat against India in the fourth ODI at the Premadasa Stadium on Thursday.

Virat Kohli (131) and Rohit Sharma (104) smashed centuries and shared in a 219-run second-wicket partnership to leave Sri Lankan bowlers in disarray. Responding to India’s total of 375 for five, Sri Lanka folded for 207 in 42.4 overs.

READ | Sri Lanka fail to seal 2019 cricket World Cup direct qualification after India loss

Young left-arm paceman Vishwa Fernando pitched up too often and was taken apart by the Indian skipper while Lasith Malinga took himself off the attack after bowling just two overs at the other end.

“We had to be very consistent on this type of wicket, the length is very crucial. There was a bit of grass and we tried to swing the ball, and then tried to bowl fuller. It didn’t happen. It’s a learning process for the young players.

READ | Rohit Sharma completes 13th ODI century as India dominate 4th ODI vs Sri Lanka

“Today was a very hot day and it was hard to concentrate in long spells. That is why we bowled shorter spells, to conserve energy.”

Sri Lanka are in danger of being routed in the ODI series, after suffering a 3-0 defeat in the Tests against India. Lasith Malinga, who took his 300th wicket, said it will take time.

READ | Lasith Malinga completes 300 ODI wickets after dismissing Virat Kohli

“We didn’t bowl well in this game. Among batsmen, only one, Angelo Mathews, is experienced. They need time. I feel they are still learning, but we have to perform because they are playing in the national team.

“They need to get confidence to play their natural game. In the last couple of matches we lost, everyone wanted to get runs. That is why they really tried to get runs. They are really hungry to win the match, everyone is waiting for that.

“With that (anxiety) coming to the fore, it is very hard to get their natural game going. That led to their failing.”

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 23:37 IST