Lasith Malinga turned back the clock and he looked at his vintage best in a magnificent spell of 5-44 in the second ODI of the five-match series and even though they eventually won the rain-curtailed encounter, England will have to find an answer and negate the threat that one of the best ever limited overs fast bowler, still possess.
Reiterating, the need to immediately ”learn a way” to counter and combat the might of Malinga, all-rounder Chris Woakes said, “We will as a batting group have a chat and review how we went in the last game. We certainly feel we could play him better,” and emphasized, “We can’t let him get 5-40 every game. He is a world-class performer, he has done it over a long period of time. He doesn’t seem to make it any easier for us."
“We’ll certainly have to look at a few plans that we can use to combat him, particularly slower balls. It is obviously a very dangerous ball for him. We’ve combatted him in the past and hopefully fall back on that and get it right next time,” he added.
It is really tough to line-up Malinga because of the still abnormal action, the lengths as well as the variation in pace that he delivers. The arm-speed hardly changes, with the shift in speeds.
Woakes further dwelled on the matter and said, “It’s tough. His arm speed is very fast, he’s probably not as quick as he used to be but his arm speed is still up there and it doesn’t slow down for that slower ball,” before adding, “And it comes out the umpire a bit. So it’s hard to see. Four of us got out to that slower ball. It is tricky but we have to find a way. We can’t keep letting him get wickets like that.”
With a no result and a win at Dambulla, England leads the series 1-0. The third ODI at Pallekele takes place on Wednesday, October 17.
(Inputs from The Telegraph)