Millennium Post

Future tense: 'Slinga' unsure of ODI career after losing series to India

Colombo: Veteran Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga says he will assess his future in international cricket after the current limited overs series against India, saying he will call it quits the moment his performance drops.

Malinga took his 300th ODI wicket when he dismissed Virat Kohli in the fourth match, which the hosts lost by 168 runs to concede a 4-0 series lead on Thursday night.
"I'm playing after 19 months following a leg injury. In the Zimbabwe and India series I couldn't play well. I'll see where I'm at after this series, and evaluate how long I can play given the way my body is. No matter how experienced I am if I can't win a match for the team and do what the team needs, there's no point in me being here. I'll see if I can make up for that 19 months and regain that form over the next 3 or four months," Malinga said.
A day before the match, which the hosts lost by 168 runs, he had expressed hope of playing until the next World Cup. But based on his form lately, he admitted that the future is up for consideration.
"I'll see the number of games that I get. If not I'll have to consider the state of my body, and what is expected of me. If I can't deliver that, then I'll happily retire."
The stand-in skipper has said that the 219-run partnership between Kohli and Rohit Sharma took the game away from them as they couldn't counter their attacking hundreds.
"Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma played really well. We didn't consistently bowl a good line and length. I think on this kind of wicket our length is very crucial and we have to concentrate more on that. The first 30-40 runs Virat got very quickly," Malinga said at the post-match press conference.
The pace spearhead added, "I feel there was a bit of grass on the wicket and bowling first, we tried to swing the ball. Then we went for a bit of runs. It's a learning process for the young players. We tried to swing the ball earlier, and that's why we went fuller but it didn t happen. That's the game of cricket."
Skipper Virat Kohli (131 runs off 96 balls) and Rohit (104 off 88) made merry on a batting beauty to guide India to 375 for five, the highest total posted by a visiting team in an ODI in Sri Lanka.
"Today (Thursday) was a very hot day and I feel that it's hard for everyone to concentrate on long spells in that kind of heat. That's why we realised that we needed to bowl short spells and get maximum from the player. Then they have good energy for 2-3 overs," Malinga added.

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