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Malinga wants Sri Lanka to perform, says time to ‘rebuild’ is over

Colombo: Sri Lankan cricket team has gone through a rough patch after the retirement of their senior players, including Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They are struggling to find a right combination of players since then but their ODI skipper Lasith Malinga believes that this is not the time to rebuild the squad.

According to Malinga, Sri Lanka should now start to focus more on proving themselves. Malinga said that with the World Cup cricket slated to be held this year itself, all the players should be keen to prove themselves as the best and try to have a good start to the year.

“Now is not the time to rebuild. More than three years have gone since the great players have retired. The next World Cup is this year. Now we have to prove who the best are in Sri Lankan cricket. All the players are keen to do that. We’ll try to start 2019 well,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Malinga as saying.

Sri Lanka will be beginning their ODI series against New Zealand from January 3 and the skipper has got just one advice for his players that is “a good start”.
“Whatever the game is we need a good start – that’s something we need to concentrate on. Our first ten overs, we have to assess conditions and build partnerships. We can then accelerate towards the end of the innings,” Malinga said.

The pacer further emphasised that the team need to get together and become familiar with the foreign conditions as it would help them during their World cup campaign.
“In the last couple of series we have performed well at the end, so I think what people have to understand is that we have to perform well when the series starts. We have another eight matches before the World Cup,” he said.

“These are very similar conditions to what we will face during the World Cup also. So it’s important to get together and become familiar with the conditions,” Malinga added.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand are slated to play a three-match ODI series from January 3 to 8.