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Prajakta Pawar in Johannesburg

Johnson is a good fast bowler: Malinga

MI pacer feels fellow quick complements his bowling style

The Mumbai Indians lost their Champions League Twenty20 2012 opening game against the Highveld Lions by eight wickets at the New Wanderers Stadium here in Johannesburg. Defending a modest total, they were batted out of the game by local heroes, Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie. The MI bowling attack, led by will Lasith Malinga, could do little as the duo reached the target with ease.  

Malinga, who picked one of the two wicket Lions’ wickets that fell today, was the most economical of the MI bowlers. The pacer spoke to clt20.com about the match and opening the bowling with fellow pacer Mitchell Johnson.

Excerpts from his post-match interview:

What was the strategy while defending MI’s modest total?

I think we got to bowl on a good wicket. The new ball swung around a bit but after that it didn’t do much. We were always thinking about bowling a good line and length. They were batting well but sometimes we didn’t bowl that well. I think that is the reason we couldn’t win.

What was it like bowling in tandem with Mitchell Johnson?

I was playing with him for the first time but I have played against him a lot of times. He is a very good fast bowler and I am very happy to play with him. He has good pace and bounce and I think he is good help for me out there.

Your team has a star-studded line-up with a lot of international experience and most of your teammates have played here. How does that work to your advantage?

Yes. The players have a lot of knowledge and information because of their experience and they know how to handle these wickets and conditions. So it is a good thing to have that with us.

Being the defending champions, is there pressure to perform in South Africa?

Not much. We don’t think about what happened in the IPL or CLT20 2011. We just think about one game at a time. We don’t have any pressure of being defending champions on our mind. We just want to play one game at a time.

It is being said that the South African wickets are helping pace bowlers. What do you think?

I don’t think there was too much help for the pacers. In the first game here today the sides scored 180-odd runs we got 150-odd runs. It is not doing much, but the wicket has pace and bounce. 

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