Hoping to see a team unafraid of taking risks: Lasith Malinga

Kandy: As Sri Lanka gets ready to lock horns with West Indies in a two-match T20I series, skipper Lasith Malinga has said that he hopes of having a team which is unafraid of taking risks.

Sri Lanka recently whitewashed West Indies in a three-match ODI series and now the team would be hoping of showing a good performance in the shortest format.

“There’s a new coaching style here now. This is a time when players get to consistently play. Because of that consistency in selection, players have got self-confidence about their place in the team. I think over the next three to four matches we will get a team that is unafraid to take risks. That’s my hope,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Malinga as saying.

“The selectors and team management feel this is the best 15 T20 players in the country, so I don’t think it should be a big problem to give them matches consistently,” he added.

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Sri Lanka has not been able to show consistent performances in the shortest format, and they recently lost the series against India in January this year.

“When you start winning matches, the bad things in our game seem to get erased, and the good things are noticeable. That’s the situation now, which I’m happy about. Fitness-wise, a bowler should be able to bowl four or five overs. And when a bowler goes to the middle, he should be able to complete that game without getting injured. We’ve seen that from our players now,” Malinga said.

Almost all the batsmen in Sri Lanka’s top seven made contributions during the ODI series, with Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis standing out among the team.

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“If a team is to win, you need at least seven players playing somewhere near their best. We saw that in the ODI series – lots of great individual performances influenced the result,” Malinga said.

“For a while, we didn’t have batsmen who could get among the runs frequently enough, and they weren’t finishing games. But now their mentality has come good. I’m hoping they’ll keep playing well in the T20s,” he added.

Sri Lanka will take on West Indies in the first T20I of the two-match series, later today.

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