This former Indian fast bowler is helping Lasith Malinga with swing ahead of 4th ODI

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New Delhi | Published: August 31, 2017 11:38:38 AM

At 34, Lasith Malinga can no more bowl at 90 mph for a longer duration, especially after returning from an 18-month knee injury layoff.

Lasith Malinga, Malinga, zaheer khan, zaheer, Malinga zaheer, lasith maling zaheer, malinga seeks help from zaheer, india vs sri lanka, india vs sri lanka 4th odi, ind vs sl, ind vs sl 4th odi, india vs sri lanka 2017, sports news, cricket news, latest newsLasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan during IPL final against Chennai Super Kings. (Source: PTI)

Till a few years back Lasith Malinga was the synonym of destruction in the cricketing world. His toe crushing yorkers were almost impossible to deal with making him one of the finest to play the sport, especially in the shorter format. However, as injuries took a toll, the Sri Lankan lost the spark, often going for more runs than desired. At 34, he can no more bowl at 90 mph for a longer duration, especially after returning from an 18-month knee injury layoff. This has forced Malinga to do some serious thinking and he has turned towards former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan for help, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Realising that he has lost pace, Malinga now wants to focus on movement in the air and who can be a better person to teach that than his old Mumbai Indians mate Zak. In fact, Zaheer himself faced a similar situation. He started as one of the fastest bowlers in the world in 2000 but continuously evolved to trouble the batsmen with his swing. Now, Malinga who is standing on the cusp of his 300th ODI wicket was seen seeking advice from the Indian great before the start of the third one-dayer in Pallekele.

“Zaheer is more of a seam and swing bowler, and I want to learn more of that kind of thing over the next few years. That’s what I discussed with him,” the Sri Lankan quick said about his interaction with Zaheer. “He (Zaheer) is a legend of the Indian bowling attack in previous years. We always talk with so many bowlers around the world. When I meet them, I want to get their experiences also. Because they are in the commentary box, they look at every single one of my body movements and my bowling action, and how I swing the ball. They have a good idea of how I’m going now. Then, every time I have an opportunity, we speak about my bowling action, and how I have to improve,” said the veteran ahead of the fourth ODI against India, as per IE.

Interestingly, Malinga isn’t the first opponent to seek help from Zak. Earlier, England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson had revealed that he learned the intricacies of reverse swing from Zaheer Khan during India’s tour of England in 2007.

WATCH LIVE | India vs Sri Lanka 2017 4th ODI streaming

Malinga who has had a below par series so far as Sri Lanka lost all the three ODIs so far faces yet another challenge in Colombo on Thursday. After Chamara Kapugedera got injured in the 3rd ODI, the slinging pacer was named Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain.

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