IPL 2009 May 11, 2009

I've enjoyed playing under Yuvraj - Jayawardene

From: Birender Velupillai

Mahela! Watching how you have been losing your wicket in the current IPL makes me wonder if you're struggling for form or if you're just not good enough at the shorter version? What's actually going wrong? You're a much better player than this.

Hello Birender - I am feeling in good nick and I've batted well in a few games thus far. Looking forward to more chances up the order.

From: Vipula Somasiri

Dear Mahela. How is it to play under a much younger captain like Yuvraj Singh? Is he a good leader? More importantly do you think he has what it takes to lead India one day?

Hello Vipula - Yes, Yuvi is a good leader and I think he has done really well in the first two IPL seasons. He keeps things simple, plays with passion and is open-minded. I have really enjoyed playing under him and I think he could do a good job with India.

From: Nihal Ratnayake

I've been trying to perfect the paddle sweep but I keep top-edging it, this is very frustrating to me and I have tried all I can to overcome this problem. Is there any advice that you could give me with regard to this?

Hello Nihal - Sounds like you might be playing the stroke to deliveries that are slightly too short. If possible you should be reaching forward and trying to connect with the ball on the half volley. This is safer because you are protected against variations in bounce.

From: Dora Dorell

Are you looking forward to the T20 World Cup in England this time? How is the team preparation this year?

Hello Dora - Yes, very excited. We have a good squad and I believe we can do well. However, we have to start well because we have two tough games against West Indies and Australia, one of which we have to win to get through to the next round. Most of us are playing in the IPL which is perfect, the rest are practicing in Colombo. We'll have a training camp after the IPL as well.

From: Neville Bastianz

We used to enjoy your bowling in the early days of your career but now you hardly ever bowl. Wouldn't you consider being a part of the usual bowling attack as an opening option? I think you have an equally good talent as a part-time bowler too.

Hello Neville - I rarely bowl now because I have some minor long-term injuries that need to be managed carefully.

From: Nisal Bandara

Dear Mahela, how can I improve my skills as a slip fielder?

Hello Nisal - Practice a lot! There is no substitute to spending hours of time practicing. Get some friends together and simulate slip catching. Throw balls against an uneven wall to sharpen your reactions. You can even use a roller as a coaching aid - get someone to demonstrate. Remember the basics: relaxed stance, watch the ball, soft hands.

From: Dinusha Peries

Hi Mahela. With your very busy schedule do you ever get to just kick back and relax? I would like to know what you do with your free time if you have any at all?

Hello Dinusha - Relaxing is very important. You need to have a balance to be at your best. I enjoy watching sports and spending time with friends and family.

From: Denise Perera

How is your IPL experience so far? What's it like playing under Yuvraj Singh?

Hello Denise - So far so good. It has been really fun and a good challenge as a batsman in difficult conditions.Yuvi has captained really well and the Kings XI Punjab have a great team atmosphere.

From: Lasantha Dinuk

Is the IPL as successful as it was in India last time?

Hello Lasantha - It's different. We've missed the intensity and passion of India's crowds. But having said that there has still been a carnival-like atmosphere and the conditions have produced some interesting cricket and tight contests.

From: Mahal Wijetunga

Why isn't Brett Lee playing as yet? Is his injury still affecting his selection?

Hello Mahal - Brett is recovering from an ankle injury and he needs to make his comeback for Australia first, which he hopes will happen in Dubai. He might be available for the second and third weeks of May. Fortunately, Yusuf Abdulla, our back-up option after Brett and Jerome Taylor (also injured), has done a terrific job. We also have Nuwan Kulasekara now so we have plenty of options.