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IPL 2019: MI official Zaheer Khan ecstatic about Lasith Malinga’s return to the side

Zaheer was appointed as the MI’s director of cricket operations last year.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians (MI) brought their former mentor Lasith Malinga in the auction last year along with Yuvraj Singh and the franchise are expecting both the old warhorses to fire this season. The case of Malinga, who is leading Sri Lanka in limited-overs cricket now, is unique as he is back as a player for MI from a mentor and Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan is banking heavily on the bowler to deliver in the team’s mission for a record fourth title.

Malinga has played in 110 games in the IPL since 2009 and taken 154 wickets at an average of less than 20 and an economy rate of 6.86. The 35-year-old recently saw his team getting decimated by South Africa 0-5 in an ODI series and he himself didn’t bowl too well, picking just three wickets from five games. But Malinga’s form is not something that has concerned Zaheer who believes the experience the Lankan brings with him is what it matters.

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MI excited about Lasith Malinga’s return, says Zaheer

“We’re excited about Lasith Malinga’s return. He brings a lot of experience to the side. Not only off the field but on the field too,” the former India speedster, who had in the past played alongside Malinga for MI, said in a tweet.

Zaheer was appointed as the MI’s director of cricket operations last year. The 40-year-old played for the side in 2009, 2010 and 2014 and took 29 wickets for the blue-and-gold outfit in 30 games.

Adding more on Malinga’s bowling exploits, Zaheer also said the bowler with a slinging arm action makes it easier for his captain by reducing pressure in a game. Rohit Sharma is the captain of the MI and led the side to win all their three titles so far – 2013, 2015 and 2017.

MI will be playing their first game of IPL 2019 against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on March 24.

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