India vs Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga says he won't mind retiring after T20 World Cup if his team reaches knockout stage

Malinga had said in March that he could retire after the T20 World Cup scheduled in October-November but later expressed his desire to play for another two years

Press Trust of India, Jan 05, 2020 09:19:26 IST

Guwahati: Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga won't mind walking into the sunset if his team qualifies for the knockout stage at this year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

The only bowler with 100 scalps in T20Is, Malinga had said in March that he could retire after the T20 World Cup scheduled in October-November but later expressed his desire to play for another two years.

India vs Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga says he wont mind retiring after T20 World Cup if his team reaches knockout stage

File image of Lasith Malinga. AP

The pacer, known for his toe-crushing yorkers, said he wants to lead the 2014 T20 champions to at least the knock-out stage at the upcoming edition.

"I've already retired from Tests and ODIs. Now whatever is required for SL cricket. If they say it's enough for me now then I'll be really happy to retire from T20s also," Malinga said on the eve of the series-opener against India.

"My only target is to play qualify round in the T20 World Cup. If Sri Lanka qualify for the knockouts, I would never mind retiring anytime after that," he added.

Talking about the series, Malinga said they would target Indian pacer and his Mumbai Indians colleague Jasprit Bumrah since he is returning from an injury and it is not easy to make a comeback.

"He's got the skill and accuracy. But coming after the injury when you don't play much cricket for the last four months, the bowlers struggle to get into the rhythm for the first few matches. We want to use that to our advantage."

"I can pass all the information on his attitude and bowling skills. But batsmen will have to be smart enough to handle him carefully," he said of the No 1 bowler in the ODIs.

Leading an inexperienced side, Malinga pointed out that they don't have the luxury of playing franchise tournaments back home but still they managed to win in 2014, beating India at home.

"We are looking for a new start in the New Year. T20 is an unpredictable format. We can't say who's the best. Anyone can change the momentum in one over. I want to give opportunities to young players. They are talented, have skill but lack experience. It's an important series to set the tone for us."

Taking inspiration from their final win in 2014, Malinga said bowlers can win T20 matches more than the batsmen.

"In this format, the key is to win the situations and bowlers can win you the matches," he said recalling how they restricted India to a below-par 130 for four before sealing a six-wicket win.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2020 09:19:26 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
6 Sri Lanka 3935 92
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10645 260
6 New Zealand 6056 252