One of the main reasons for India’s capitulation in the ICC World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka was the inability to score the big hits in the death overs. Sri Lankan bowlers conceded just 19 runs from in the last four overs of the Indian innings to restrict Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team to a sub-par 130 for four.
Leading the Lankans was their talismanic quickie Lasith Malinga, who conceded 27 runs off his four overs. In a post-match chat, Malinga, who also captained the team in the final, revealed that playing in the Indian Premier League helped him bowl such a tight line and length.
“I think it’s because of the IPL. Since I have played in the IPL, I had a fair understanding of Indian players and I could control their batsmen and use my bowlers to contain them. I learnt everything from the IPL,” said Malinga, explaining how a formidable batting line-up like India could score just 66 runs in the last 60 balls.
Malinga will be the part of the Mumbai Indians squad again this year. He was preferred ahead of Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson and one of the five players retained by the team owners. Malinga is the only bowler to take 100 wickets in the league.
The Sri Lankan’s deadly ability to bowl swinging yorkers has won him many admirers. Malinga says he works hard at the nets to hone his special talent. He says taking wickets also gave him the confidence to lead Sri Lanka in the last three games of the World Twenty20.
“There was a belief that being a fast bowler, I cannot lead the team. So I think I did the justice for my place as well. I believe that if you can take wickets, you may also have the ability to do any kind of thing on a cricketing field,” he told in Dhaka on Sunday night.
Mumbai Indians will count on Malinga’s economy rate to retain the IPL crown. The bowler thinks there is no substitute to hard work and that luck only favours the determined. Malinga is clear that it was hard work that helped Lanka win their maiden World Twenty20 crown.
“Some say winning is luck, some say winning is talent. I really trust that we didn’t have luck. We worked hard, we know our ability, we can do that, everyone is talented, that’s why we won the match. I don’t believe in luck,” said Malinga.