MUMBAI: Newly-appointed fast-bowling coach Lasith Malinga feels Rajasthan Royals have a fantastic pace attack with a good mix of experienced international players, genuine Indian quicks and youngsters.
Malinga, who took 546 wickets in 340 international matches across three formats for Sri Lanka and also led the country to the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup triumph, has been roped in by the Royals as their new fast-bowling coach ahead of IPL-15.
“I think we have a fantastic pace attack. You’ve got experienced overseas players like Boult and Coulter-Nile, with whom I’ve worked before,” Malinga was quoted as saying in a media release.
“Then we’ve got genuine Indian fast bowlers in Prasidh (Krishna) and (Navdeep) Saini, who have proven themselves at the highest level, and some new faces in Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen and Kuldip Yadav.
“In T20 cricket, I think little margins really matter, and I’m here to guide them to deliver their best in all situations,” he added.
Talking about joining the new franchise, the 38-year-old, who is also IPL’s highest wicket-taker, said he’s enjoying his new role.
“It is certainly a new thing for me to get into coaching and pass on my experience to the younger players. I have played this role before with Mumbai, and now I’m delighted to be working with Rajasthan Royals. It is a new place for me, but I’m enjoying my role so far working with such a talented group of bowlers.”
Having been associated with Mumbai Indians for 13 seasons, he also recalled how the move to Royals came about.
“It was actually last year that Kumar (Sangakkara) asked me if I was interested. But with COVID and all the bubble restrictions, I didn’t want to stay away from my family.
“But this year, having also worked with the Sri Lankan team, I felt I could use my experience and give back to the game that I love, by working with this group of players.”
Sharing his thoughts on what’s the most important thing for a fast bowler, Malinga said, “I think most of the times teams focus on analyzing the opposition and looking at their weaknesses.
“But in my experience, I think what works best is when you work on your strengths and bowl according to them. In T20, you only have to bowl 24 balls, which works in our favour but it’s also important to trust your instincts as to which variations can work in which situations.”
“On the field, you only have a right hander and a left hander to prepare against, so when a bowler trains, it’s important to just train according to that – to think there are just two batters – it doesn’t matter what the name of the batsman is,” he added.
Having won the IPL four times with Mumbai, the veteran also commented on what he thinks is the most important thing to do when going after a title.
“I think every team is equally strong and everyone in the team is equally valued. But the most crucial thing is how we understand the game, and the situations within a game.
“So, what I want to get out of our bowlers is to improve their thinking pattern, and help them understand the situations better,” he expressed.