“Being out of form is part of cricket. I’ve never seen a cricketer who has always been in form in my 17-18 years of cricket. Malinga might go through a little lean patch, but he is a strong enough player to come back and bowl good spells. He might win the match for Mumbai Indians in tomorrow’s (Friday) game or the final, if they make it,” Jayasuriya said on Thursday.
The Sri Lankan legend also praised his former team-mate Mahela Jayawardene for his successful maiden coaching stint with Mumbai Indians.
“He has done a great job. Coaching for the first time even though he has played enough cricket, it’s a different role. You’re associating yourself with people from so many other countries: the bowling coach, fielding coach, specialised batting coach, so many coaches are involved in one team. So, to manage them as well as individual cricketers, it’s not easy. Mahela has done a great job of doing that. It was a good test for him,” he said.
Jayasuriya reckoned it will be challenging for the players currently playing in the IPL to shift focus to the Champions Trophy in just about 10 days.
“It’ll be a challenge to adjust to the format. Players have been playing a lot of T20 cricket, and you’re in a different mood. Also, the conditions will be totally different. But player have played enough international cricket to adjust. It is up to individual players to figure out a way,” he said.
He also believed that sub-continental teams including India and Sri Lanka will have to adjust to the seaming and swinging conditions quickly if they are to do well in the eight-nation event.
“It’s totally different conditions, atmosphere and wickets in England. It’s early summer there, it will be a bit cold and wickets might seam and swing more. Sub-continental countries will find it difficult. But the players are experienced enough to adjust as quickly as possible.
“India have got a great team. Sri Lanka also have a good, experienced side. So, it will be a good contest,” he said. (DNA)