'My only target is to play knock-out round in T20 World Cup': Malinga

Last Modified Wednesday, 8 January 2020 (17:15 IST)
Guwahati: Sri Lanka T20I captain has admitted that he doesn't
mind hanging up his boots in the shortest format if his team makes it to the knock-out 
stage of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020.
The veteran bowler, who has already retired from the other two formats, now wants to 
keep the best interest of Sri Lanka cricket in mind. Sri Lanka have reached the final of 
the 20-over edition thrice and won it once, in 2014, when they beat India.
   
"I've already retired from Tests and ODIs. Now whatever is required for Sri Lanka cricket; 
if they say it's enough for me now then I'll be really happy to retire from T20s also," he 
said on the eve of the series opener against India.
 
"My only target is to play knock-out round in the T20 World Cup. If Sri Lanka qualify for 
the knockouts, I would not mind retiring anytime after that," Malinga said.The Men's T20 World Cup begins on October 18 this year, with Sri Lanka playing their first game against Ireland in Geelong, an ICC report said.
 
Even though Malinga is leading a young side, he is confident they can give their best in 
the 'unpredictable' T20 format. He also added that playing against will help them prepare well for the tournament."We are looking for a new start in the New Year. T20 is an unpredictable format. We can't predict who's the best. Anyone can change the momentum in one over. I want to give an opportunity to the young players. They are talented, have skills but lack experience. It's an important series to set the tone for us," said Malinga, who is the only bowler to take 100 wickets in T20Is.
 
Malinga also said that Sri Lanka will be targeting India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is 
returning to the side from an injury. Malinga, who has played alongside Bumrah in the Indian Premier League doesn't mind sharing some tips to outwit the bowler, but expects the 
batsmen to be equally smart while facing him.
 
"He's (Bumrah) has got the skill and accuracy. But coming after the injury when you 
don't play much cricket for the last four months, the bowlers struggle to get into the rhythm 
for the first few matches. We want to use that to our advantage," said Malinga."I can pass all the information of his attitude and bowling skill. But batsmen will have to 
be smart enough to handle him carefully," he added.(UNI)