Sri Lanka vs England 2018, Lasith Malinga, Second ODI

Just Want To Focus On Next Match, Not Thinking Too Far Towards The World Cup: Lasith Malinga

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After taking an impressive five-wicket haul in the second ODI against England, Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga said he wanted to prove himself after getting the recall.

Lasith Malinga made his much-awaited return to Sri Lankan team during the Asia Cup. Prior to that, the right-arm pacer last featured in an ODI in September 2017 against India during the home series. The veteran, who led Sri Lanka to 2014 World T20 title, was been plagued by injuries and fitness issues over the last couple of years.

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A string of injuries on his leg forced him out of nearly all international cricket in 2016. He made his return to Champions Trophy but soon found himself out of the team after a string of poor performances.

Just Want To Focus On Next Match, Not Thinking Too Far Towards The World Cup: Lasith Malinga 1
Lasith Malinga picked up 5 for 44 in the second Sri Lanka-England ODI (Credits: AFP)

However, he made a stunning return to ODIs, picking up 4 for 23 against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup on his comeback. And he once again proved his worth on Saturday by taking 5 wickets against England.

He first dismissed the dangerous Jason Roy for a duck in the very first over. He then returned to dismiss a well-settled Eoin Morgan for 92 before accounting for Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Liam Dawson to help his side restrict the visitors to 278 for 9.

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Speaking after the performance, he said he wanted to prove himself after being given the chance.

I didn’t play one and a half years of cricket for Sri Lanka. But after Asia Cup, I feel I can do well, may be not perform like previous years but I can do something for the team. My first 3 overs today were not ideal but I came back well. I wanted to stick to my wicket-taking options. I am in the last stage of my career. I am not sure how much cricket I have left for the country. Still, I am very proud to represent my country. I try my best in the every match,” he said after the England innings got over.

Just Want To Focus On Next Match, Not Thinking Too Far Towards The World Cup: Lasith Malinga 2
Still, I am very proud to represent my country: Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka vs England, Credits: AFP)

He further said that he is not sure about his participation in next year’s World Cup. At the same time, he insisted that he is not thinking too far and is focusing on doing well in every game.

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“I am not sure about the selectors plan but in the last one and a half years, they didn’t have any plan with me. But now I got the chance and I wanted to prove, I am still Lasith Malinga. I just want to focus on the next match and I am not thinking too far towards the World Cup. I don’t know what is in their (selectors) mind. Whenever I get an opportunity, I want to give my best. The wicket is too dry, it will not help fast bowlers. We are an Asian country, we play spin well and we can chase this total down,” said the veteran pacer.

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