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We Have to Play All Twenty Overs and Bat More Responsibly: Malinga

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga rued his team's batsmen's shot selection following another big loss in the second T20I against Australia in Brisbane.

Cricketnext Staff |October 30, 2019, 6:03 PM IST
Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga. (Pic: AP)

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga rued his team's batsmen's shot selection following another big loss in the second T20I against Australia in Brisbane.

Sri Lanka folded for just 117 in 19 overs, their second poor batting display after managing just 99 for 9 in the first game. Australia chased down the target by nine wickets with seven overs to spare, with David Warner and Steve Smith scoring unbeaten half-centuries.

"Australia are a tough side and with this kind of batting line-up, our score wasn't enough," said Malinga in the post-match presentation. "We didn't get the score we expected, the batsmen will have to be more responsible. The shot selection was not that great and we didn't get any partnerships in the middle overs. We didn't play to the situation.

"The top seven batsmen have to play 20 overs, we have to bat more responsibly."

Malinga, however, said his team will see this as a preparation for the T20 World Cup in 2020, to be played in Australia.

"The only positive is preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup as we will be playing in similar conditions," he said. "We will have to test ourselves in such situations. We want to win the next game, this is a young side and it will give them confidence."

Malinga's Australian counterpart Aaron Finch called the victory 'clinical', but stressed Australia would aim to improve on their consistency given they are No. 5 in T20Is.

"Pretty clinical and it was a nice game. How we started with the ball set the tone for the rest of the game," he said. "And then the way Steve and Dave went about things was world-class. I think at the end of the day, the bowlers know their roles pretty well and it makes my job very easy. It makes a difference having two of the best players in the world (Warner and Smith) available, they are guns in any format. The amount of cricket they play around the world and passing on that knowledge to the rest of the guys is unbelievable.

"We are focused on winning, we are fifth in the world which is a reflection on how we have played in the last couple of years. We need to get that going in the right direction but also at the same time maybe have a look at some different combinations."

Warner, Man of the Match for the second consecutive game following his maiden T20I ton in the first, credited the bowlers for the massive win.

"Credit goes to our bowlers, to restrict them to 117 was fantastic," he said. "There was more bounce and carry here, when the conditions are humid, it swings a bit as well. The boys hit their lengths right and we just tried to push them on the back foot and forced them to play cross-batted shots.

"There's a lot of hard work in watching the ball and hitting the ball. I have been hitting the ball well in the nets but at the end of the day, it's not what you do in the nets, its what you do in the middle that counts."

Warner said batting with Smith was fantastic, and explained that they focused on running between the wickets given the size of the grounds in Australia.

"It is fantastic. What I do know is we are going to be doing a lot of running with the big boundaries. We try and stay nice and still and he just makes the game look easy, he is a world class player and I enjoy batting with him."

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