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Reverse swing came naturally to me - Malinga

May 26, 2009

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Lasith Malinga trains at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. July 1, 2009
Lasith Malinga: "My role in the team is not to bowl line and length - it is to take wickets." © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Players/Officials: Lasith Malinga

From: Veerendra

Hi Lasith, What's the use of bowling the yorker at crucial stages?

Hi Veerendra - The Yorker is the hardest delivery to hit to the boundary because it does not give the batsmen any leverage to swing the bat. I learnt how to bowl it while playing softball cricket and it has become a really important weapon for me.

From: Sumit Roy

It would be fair to say that Mumbai didn't live up to their potential on paper in this edition of the IPL. It seems that there were two things in particular that went against the team - one the ability to perform in crunch situations and the other - tactical uncertainty which marked many of their games. Whose fault do you think this is? The management, or the Captain?

Hello Sumit - Yes, I'd agree that we failed to live up to our potential. We had some fine cricketers but did not perform when it mattered. Some of the guys, like Bravo and Abishnek Nair, were great under pressure but in general we need it to be better in this area. In terms of tactics, we learnt a lot during the tournament and I am sure we will be a better team in 2010

From: Faizan

Why do you kiss the ball before you bowl ? And if you do it for good luck then you do it way too many times. I suggest you give it a big kiss before the game.

Hello Faizan, Cricket is my job and my livelihood. As a result, being a bowler, I have the greatest respect for the cricket ball and I've got into the habit of kissing it before I start my run-up.

From: Hammas

You are a great bowler and I really admire your bowling action..... I was wondering who taught you the reverse swing?

Hello Hammas. Because of my bowling action and speed, reverse swing came pretty naturally to me, although I needed the guidance and help of Champaka Ramanayake and more recently Prabath Nissanka.

From: Shibu Mathew

Who was your bowling coach during his school days, why he was not corrected his bowling action?

Hello Shibu, I had several cricket coaches in school including a guy called Jagath and Keerthi Dharmapriya. I was fortunate that they had the wisdom not to try and change my action. They realized that I was quick and they let me be natural.

From: Alan Border

You have talent for sure, but sometimes you don't show consistency. Focus on line and length, not sheer speed.

Hello Alan, I like bowling fast but I actually very rarely bowl flat-out. I try to vary my pace and swing the ball. My role in the team is not to bowl line and length - it is to take wickets.

From: Venkatesh Murugan

Hi Mali, you should concentrate on slow balls. Because batsmen like Sehwag are able to face your yorkers but what I observed is he is struggling with the slower one.

Hello Venkat, I will definitely bowl slower balls at Sehwag just like I do with all batsmen.

From: Kevin Reimers

What do you think you can do to improve your speed?

Hello Kevin. To be honest I think that I have reached my peak speed bowling from 85-90 mph. I do train hard in the gym but at this stage I'll not add on much more pace unless the rhythm is really, really good.

From: Abhishek Dhwaj Singh

How is it that you are able to consistently bowl Yorkers?

Hello Abhishek. Lots of practice is the key as well as the fact that I grew up bowling yorkers when I played softball cricket as a kid.

From: Vinay

Hello Sir. I'm a big fan of your bowling and I also bowl medium pace but I have some problem while bowling. I cannot maintain my run-up rhythm properly or bowl at a good pace. How can I improve?

Hello Vinay. First practice your run-up action without bowling. Try to run naturally and smoothly gradually increasing your pace. Once you have a comfortable running action then start bowling. Make sure in your delivery stride you are balanced. Don't rush in too fast. You need to be relaxed and have rhythm to bowl fast.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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