Leeds [UK]: Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga on Thursday said India wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni should play for another one or two years to enable him to pass on his experience to young players.
Considered as India’s best finisher, Dhoni has been facing severe criticism for his baffling batting approach against England in the World Cup match on June 30. Malinga, however, feels nobody can beat the India wicket-keeper batsman.
“I think MS (Dhoni) should play for another one or two years. He is the best finisher in the last 10 years. I don’t think anyone can beat him in future. He has to give his experience and situation handling to all the young players. They (India) have good experience in past captain MS Dhoni. I think that’s why they are a successful team. I think they are good enough to beat any team in this competition,” Malinga told ANI.
India secured its World Cup semi-finals berth after beating Bangladesh on earlier this week. When asked what does he think about Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Malinga said the India skipper does not have to do much as India have got good players.
“I think Virat has a good luxury. They (India) have good players, they showed their character in the IPL tournament. They know exactly their ownership in the team, every single player then Virat doesn’t have to do much,” Malinga said.
When quipped about India pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami’s performance in the World Cup, Sri Lanka fast bowler said both Bumrah and Shami are accurate bowlers and know how to handle the pressure. Malinga also credited spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to India’s success in the ongoing tournament.
“They (Bumrah and Shami) are the most accurate bowlers. Shami is the guy who took five wickets and three wickets. Every time he gets the ball he knows how accurate it is for him. Jasprit is an experienced death overs bowler. He knows how to handle pressure situation,” Malinga said.
“I think that combination is very good for them. And I think they have two genuine good spinners. That’s why they are a well successful team. Jasprit is doing good in this world cup and I am still waiting for his five wickets in the World Cup. I fell if he gets five wickets in the semi-finals they will definitely qualify for the final,” he added.
Reflecting on his team Sri Lanka, Malinga said his team is in a good position but could not qualify for the semi-finals as their first two matches were washed out.
“Unfortunately we didn’t play two matches (against Pakistan and Bangladesh) because of rain wash. Then we won three matches. Then we have opportunity day after. We are also in a good position but unfortunately, we are not qualified for the World Cup semi-finals. Still, if we play in the last two matches we never know what’s going on. But we can’t control that,” he said.
Malinga further lauded Avishka Fernando and his skipper Dimuth Karunaratne. He also added that these players have to carry the team in future.
“Avishka (Fernando) played really well and other young players had a good experience of the World Cup. I feel after the world cup they have to carry the momentum. Dimuth (Karunaratne) is good. He showed his opening ability in ODI cricket. They have to carry Sri Lankan cricket in future,” Malinga added.
When asked about his future plans, Malinga said he will have a word with Sri Lanka cricket board and accordingly decide.
“I want to go to Sri Lanka and meet the Sri Lanka cricket board and ask what they are expecting from me next month or next year. Then according to that, I want to get my decision as soon as possible,” he said.
India will take on Sri Lanka on July 6 at Headingley in Leeds.