Dean Jones: Australian batsmen must take on Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga left his Big Bash League side Melbourne Stars on Tuesday to join the Sri Lankan camp for the ODI series against Australia starting on Friday at MCG © Getty Images

Melbourne: Jan 8, 2013

Australian batting coach for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, Dean Jones has insisted that the young Australian batsmen need to take on Lasith Malinga rather than playing him out in the five-match ODI series starting at MCG on Friday.

Jones believes youngsters like Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch need to play aggressively against Malinga in order to counter his bowling.

Malinga joins Sri Lanka for the ODI series and adds much needed strength to the bowling attack which failed to intimidate the Australian batsmen throughout the Test series.

The 29-year-old speedster has been one of the players of this summer’s Big Bash League (BBL).

Jones believes that the tactic of playing Malinga out, something that a lot of opposition batting line-ups have opted to do in the past, will not work for Australia.

”Bottom line is if you think he’s won the battle then he’s won the battle. You’ve got to take it up to him and be competitive – don’t let him get away with what he wants. But at the same time you’ve got to find a par or reasonable score to keep him quiet,” Jones said, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

”If you keep him quiet you’re going to win most games. Jones even suggested stepping down the wicket to Malinga could be a useful strategy to put off the pacer.

”Maybe once or twice, you have to keep them guessing,” said Jones, who acknowledged every player would have a different method. Not only does he bowl a magnificent yorker he bowls a good bouncer. He’s thinking ahead of everyone else as well.”

”Ultimately you’ve got to be one step ahead of him and try and get control of him. But let’s be honest, you’re not going to be smashing him for 60 an over, though you also don’t want to be giving him three wickets as well.”

The key to facing Malinga was picking his release points, which Jones said did not change irrespective of what delivery he was bowling.