Lankans boosted by Malinga’s presence

By , 10 Jan 2013

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    Sri Lanka’s slinger Lasith Malinga has three main weapons in his arsenal for Australia to concentrate on in the one-day international series, according to David Hussey.

    “He doesn’t speak much English so it’s an interesting one,” said Hussey, a teammate of Malinga with the Melbourne Stars.

    “You’ve just got to get your plans and your focus purely on his three different balls.

    “He’s got a very fast bumper, a very good yorker which he executes every time and his slower ball.

    “If we take him out of the game, it definitely goes a long way to winning the game for Australia.”

    Hussey and Malinga will square off at the MCG in game one of the five-match series of one-day games between the World Cup-winning nations.

    Malinga’s tally of 13 victims at an average of 10.69 places him on top of the T20 BBL wicket-taking table alongside Hobart Hurricanes’ Ben Laughlin.

    “All our batters have to really get down to business and do their homework,” Hussey said.

    Malinga put Melbourne Renegades’ West Indian import Marlon Samuels in hospital with an eye socket injury after the batsman top-edged a short ball in Sunday’s Melbourne derby game.

    “Never scared — it’s always exciting,” Hussey said.

    “You always want to play the best bowlers in the world. It’s a great opportunity to face him (Malinga).”

    Injury-plagued Malinga, 29, has retired from Test cricket and has been playing T20 for the Stars while his nation lost 3-0 in Australia in the past few weeks.

    The mop-topped paceman’s return to the national lineup for the ODI series has given the tourists enormous confidence, according to spinner Jeevan Mendis.

    “He’s a great bowler and any team would be willing to have him. To have him in the one-day team is a great opportunity for us to do well,” said the 29-year-old Mendis, who had a four-game spell with BBL side the Sydney Sixers.

    “Having him, for us is confidence.”

    Sri Lanka’s recent Test capitulation isn’t on the minds of their one-day cricketers who fancy their chances against No.4-ranked Australia’s under-strength side.

    The world No.5 side are also coming off a 3-0 win over New Zealand at home.

    “Compared to the Test version we have a good one-day team,” Mendis said.

    © AAP 2014