Leeds: When Lasith Malinga says that Jasprit Bumrah is the best bowler in world cricket at the moment, it is no mean achievement for the India pacer who has been on a roll in recent times. But then, who better than Malinga to judge the boy who he mentored when Bumrah joined Mumbai Indians in 2013.
Speaking to IANS, Malinga said that the best part about the India pacer is his belief in his ability, which helps him beat the pressure of performing on the big stage.
"What is pressure? Pressure means you don't have the skill. If you have the skill, there is no pressure. It is all about skill and accuracy and if you are accurate, you know you can do what you aim to. He is a skilful bowler and knows he can bowl same balls one after the other.
"The thing is anyone can bowl yorkers, slowers and good length balls. But the idea is to have the accuracy. How many times can you hit the same spot? Then comes analysing the game. The handling of situation is what counts, and then comes the application," Malinga explained.
"I saw him (Bumrah) in 2013 and spent time with him. He was hungry to learn, and he learnt quickly. Hunger to learn is very important. Jasprit has shown the character in a short period," he said.
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Malinga believes that this Indian team can repeat the feat that the team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni achieved at the 2011 World Cup.
"I think this team can do it as they have shown character. They have experienced players and you know how well Rohit Sharma is playing. Virat Kohli is also due and he might score his first hundred in the semifinal or the final as he loves the big stage. The Indians have a lot of match-winning players and that is what counts," the Sri Lankan ace pointed out.
Commenting on his personal journey and how he plans to go ahead after the World Cup, Malinga said: "I just want to meet the board and ask them what they expect of me and I will plan accordingly. For the World T20 in 2020, we have to play the qualifying round and that has to be kept in mind."
Malinga feels that Dhoni too should continue for a bit longer. "He should play another year or two and prepare players who can do the job of finishers on the big stage. He is still the best finisher in world cricket. It will be difficult to fill his shoes and the young players should look to learn from him," he signed off.