Malinga wants Sri Lanka to 'feel the shame of losing'

The senior quick bowler lashes out at his team-mates, says they haven't learnt from their mistakes even as the losses have piled up

Sri Lanka quick bowler Lasith Malinga was scathing in his criticism of his team-mates' attitude, saying that they have moved from one defeat to another in recent times without learning any lessons.
Speaking to the Sri Lankan press before their game against Afghanistan in Cardiff on Tuesday, Malinga said, "In the last one-and-a-half years or two years, we have been saying, 'we have lost one game, move on, do well in the next game'. You can't play cricket like that. We need to learn lessons from those defeats. There's no point in forgetting those defeats.
"I have played four World Cups and I still feel the pressure for tomorrow's match. The other players must also feel it. You can't play cricket anywhere without feeling the pressure. If a player doesn't feel that pressure, that excitement, the nervousness, then there's no chance of getting 100% from that player. They must think to themselves that if they don't deliver, they have not done justice to the team."
We can't improve our skills at the moment. We need to become mentally tough
In the last three years, Sri Lanka have won just 26% of their ODIs; they have lost to Scotland in a List A match, and Afghanistan beat them in their most recent contest in the Asia Cup.
In their opening match of the World Cup, Sri Lanka, who have won just four of their 21 completed ODIs in the past 12 months and lost warm-up matches to South Africa and Australia before the tournament, went down by ten wickets to New Zealand after folding for 136.
"All the players must realise their own mistakes first. We can't repeat the same mistakes over and over," Malinga said. "As a senior player and as a member of the squad, I hope everyone will have that fear of not doing their duty and feel the shame of losing. Everyone must realise that it's a must that they perform because if not our cricket will not go forward.
"At least from tomorrow, I hope everyone will have that fear because they have been selected as the best 15 to represent the country, not to be passengers. It's essential that they identify different game situations and support each other in the middle.
"I feel players need to get confidence, but we can't improve our skills at the moment. We need to become mentally tough."
Dimuth Karunaratne, leading Sri Lanka in the World Cup despite not being an ODI regular since March 2015, was the only batsman to show some grit against New Zealand, carrying his bat for 52 runs as wickets fell in a heap around him.
"I feel our top-seven batsmen have to take responsibility," Malinga said. "We need to be patient. Patience is very important.
"We know these conditions; we can have someone get 60-70 runs and some balls can still move around. Each bowler has their own method of setting up a batsman and taking wickets. So each bowler has their own ways of bowling those wicket-taking deliveries. I can't decide that for the others."

Jarrod Kimber is a writer for ESPNcricinfo. @ajarrodkimber