Cardiff: Angelo Mathews said Lasith Malinga remains vital to Sri Lanka's bowling plans against India in an ICC Champions Trophy semifinal clash here on Thursday. The Sri Lankan skipper said India could ignore him at their own peril because Malinga had the ability to conjure "something special" in a big game.
When told that Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Malinga would be no big threat to the Indian batsmen due to the "familiarity" factor, Mathews replied: "Yes, I am aware we play a lot of cricket together but to ignore Lasith is not a good idea. He remains a very experienced man and he will surely have special plans against them."
It's been a hot and cold tournament for the Lankan speedster so far. Malinga averages 40.88 in ODIs against India, his worst against a team he has faced more than once. Yet, in this Champions Trophy, Malinga remains Lanka's best bowler with seven wickets and a best of 4 for 34 against New Zealand in Cardiff.