Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: July 20 2012
The second preview of the upcoming ODI series between Sri Lanka and India will focus on each sides star fast bowler. The match up of Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan promises to be one of the key contests with their respective performances likely to have a major say on the outcome of the series.
Malinga is known for his unique bowling action which has presented serious problems for most batsmen that have face him. His ODI career statistics, which are shown in the next table, are exceptional and mark him as one of the best one day bowlers in world cricket.
|Last 10 Innings||10||474||411||11||3-40||37.36||5.2||43.09||1||0|
A career average of only 26.2 is outstanding and this figure is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he plays his home series on placid Sri Lankan pitches. This highlights his ability to utilise the conditions in the sub continent to make the ball reverse swing.
Malinga's unique action often seems to exagerate the amount of reverse swing he gets from the older ball. The fact that Malinga takes 34.4% of his wickets by bowling batsmen out and a further 13.5% via lbw's, meaning at least 48% of his wickets come from deliveries that would hit the stumps, show that it is his much vaunted reverse swinging yorkers and full length deliveries that are his most effective wicket taking weapons.
The final statisitc to mention is the fact that Malinga's bowling average falls dramatically to only 19.56 when he bowls in a Sri Lankan win. This suggests that he is one of the key performers for the Sri Lankan side and that when he performs well then his team is likely to.
Zaheer has a much more orthodox action than Malinga and although his career statistics are slightly less impressive than Malinga's he is still a high quality limited overs bowler.
|Last 10 Innings||10||549||457||18||3-20||25.39||4.99||30.5||2||0|
Much like Malinga; Zaheer plays his home matches on benign surfaces and as such it is a wonderful achievement to have a career average of just 29.03 runs per wicket. Given that these wickets regularly offer scores in excess of 300 Zaheer's economy rate of less that five runs per over is equally impressive and demonstrates the control h offers in tandem with his wicket taking ability.
He also comes into the series in excellent form with 18 wickets in his last 10 innings and an average of just 25.39 in those matches although he did have an indifferent IPL.
Another remarkable figure is that 34.5%, more than a third, of Zaheer's wickets are opening batsmen. In fact top 3 batsmen account for more than 45% of his wickets. This statistic highlights Zaheer's value to the Indian team as a strike bowler who can be relied upon to take the wickets of the oppositions best players.
Both men have tremendous limited overs records and will play a significant role in the series. The batsmen they face will know that if they are to make big scores then they will have to neutralise the threats that each man pose.