Hardik Pandya wishes Lasith Malinga on his birthday
The Sri Lankan pacer turns 34 today.
Published - Aug 28, 2017 2:51 pm | Updated - Aug 28, 2017 2:51 pm
Sri Lankan veteran and one of the most lethal pacers in world cricket, Lasith Malinga celebrates his 34th birthday today. While he is participating in the ongoing ODI series against India, no love has been lost between him and his Indian friends. All-rounder Hardik Pandya was one of the first people from the Indian camp to wish him a ‘happy birthday’. Pandya and Malinga play for the same side- Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra too, wished the unorthodox bowler on his birthday. ICC had a special message for the birthday boys, as he turned 34. The Galle lad has played 202 ODIs for the Lankans and has picked up 299 wickets at an average of 28.72. Malinga played 30 matches in whites and scalped 101 wickets. He last featured in a Test match in 2010, before hanging up his boots.
The pacer made a comeback after being out in the cold for 18 months, but success eluded the fast bowler. Once the stand out match winner for his side, Malinga has taken a slip down.
Captains backing the veteran pacer
Limited-overs skipper Upul Tharanga had earlier backed the pacer during a press conference and said “Malinga’s form has gone down from what it was two-three years ago. Any cricketer goes through this phase. He returned to ODIs after being out for about 18 months. But since his return, he has been unable to produce those match-winning performances; mainly because catches have been dropped off his bowling. But his presence in the team is a big boon to the young fast bowlers who can learn a lot from him.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli too spoke highly of the match-winner and said, “When you look at his bowling action and the kind of success he has had for such a long period of time is actually remarkable. With the dynamics of his bowling, it’s not very natural. It’s very easy to say that he is not bowling as well anymore, but it could just be a phase”. Clearly, the Lankan has built a reputation over the years and it will be worth the wait to see him get back into his groove.
Here is Pandya’s tweet:
Happy birthday to the ever smiling king of yorkers. Wishing you a great year ahead, Mali. ? pic.twitter.com/fovraw1DhH
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) August 28, 2017