Lasith Malinga Takes Blame For India T20I Series Defeat
Lasith Malinga (© AFP)

While taking the blame for Sri Lanka’s 0-2 T20I series defeat at the hands of India, captain Lasith Malinga also pointed the lack of experience in the team is affecting his performance too.

After the series opener in Guwahati was washed out, India registered emphatic victories in Indore (by seven wickets) and Pune (by 78 runs) to take the three-match series 2-0. “We lost 2-0. I have to perform well, because I have experience playing T20 cricket, but I didn’t get a single wicket in this tournament, that is why we are in this situation, 65-70 per cent (of the times),” Malinga said.

Malinga went wicketless in both the matches and said the failure to strike in the Powerplay hampered his team’s chances. “I am the most experienced player in the team in T20s. Yes, I have the pressure to get wickets because I am a wicket-taking bowler, but I feel if we want to win the match we have to get one-two wickets early in first six overs, we didn’t get that in this tournament,” he said.

Recalling his previous captaincy stint in 2014, Malinga said the presence of stalwarts like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillkaratne Dilshan who knew their roles made his job easier.

“Captaincy means, when we have experienced players who can handle situations, it is very easy to do the job. But now I don’t have that luxury. When I was captain in 2014, I had Mahela, Sanga, Angelo (Mathews), Dilshan, we had lots of experienced players who were match-winners, they knew what they needed to do. Now, players are not experienced and I have to guide them and I have to wait and see,” he said.

He also stressed on the need to built partnerships asking Sri Lanka batsmen to take cue from how Indian top-order performed during the series. “The top order is important and Indian top order got good partnerships. Partnership is important in T20 game. Because people (players) are thinking it is 20 overs, like we have to hit every single ball.”

He continued, “They can bat and they can hit shots. But they’ve to learn to build an innings. That we are lacking. Last one and half/two years, we didn’t have that luxury.

“Previously, we had Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan they knew how to build an innings. The young players are talented, they want to play their shots, but sometimes they have to be calm and handle the situation. That part is lacking,” the 36-year-old added..

But Malinga did repeat that he himself has to lead by example. “Going forward, I am looking forward to get my job done. I can’t give excuse to others (on non performance) as I have wicket taking variations, skills. I have experience of playing franchise cricket but, at the end of the day, in this tournament, I did not do anything for the team,” he said.