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What Malinga The Slinga Told Royals

By Rediff Cricket
March 22, 2022 16:51 IST
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IMAGE: Sri Lankan cricketing greats Lasith Malinga with Kumar Sangakkara during A Rajasthan Royals training session. Photograph and Videos: Rajasthan Royals/Instagram
 

New bowling coach Lasith Malinga got down to work immediately as he worked with the Rajasthan Royals' bowlers in the nets.

Malinga is the highest wicket-taker in IPL history with 170 wickets from 122 games at an economy rate of just over 7. He enjoyed a long stint with Mumbai Indians from the inaugural IPL season in 2008 till 2019, which included being part of the coaching set up in 2018.

Malinga claimed 546 wickets in 340 international matches, while he also led Sri Lanka to the 2014 T20 World Cup title.

He was named as Royals's bowling coach for IPL 2022, joining his former Sri Lanka team-mate Kumar Sangakkara, who is the head coach at the franchise.

'Lasith Malinga, wasting no time,' Rajasthan Royals captioned the Instagram video of Malinga the Slinga working with Royals's young pacer Anunay Singh during a practice session.

 

'I think we have a fantastic pace attack. You have got experienced overseas players like (Trent) Boult and (Nathan) Coulter-Nile, with whom I have worked before,' Malinga said.

'Then we have got genuine Indian fast bowlers in Prasidh (Krishna) and (Navdeep) Saini, who have proven themselves at the highest level, and some new faces in Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen and Kuldip Yadav.'

'In T20 cricket, I think little margins really matter, and I am here to guide them to deliver their best in all situations,' he added.

Malinga also revealed how he landed the Royals's bowling coach job. 'It was actually last year that Kumar (Sangakkara) asked me if I was interested. But with COVID and all the bubble restrictions, I didn't want to stay away from my family. But this year, having also worked with the Sri Lankan team, I felt I could use my experience and give back to the game that I love, by working with this group of players,' he said.

The pace legend advised his bowlers to work on their strengths and not focus too much on the opposition.

'I think most of the times teams focus on analysing the opposition and looking at their weaknesses. But in my experience, I think what works best is when you work on your strengths and bowl according to them.'

'In T20, you only have to bowl 24 balls, which works in our favour, but it's also important to trust your instincts as to which variations can work in which situations.'

'On the field, you only have a right hander and a left hander to prepare against, so when a bowler trains, it's important to just train according to that -- to think there are just two batters -- it doesn't matter what the name of the batsman is,' he added.

Malinga showed that he has not lost his bowling prowess as he sent down a perfect yorker during the nets session on Monday.

'Lasith Malinga, he's still got it!' quipped the Royals.

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