Malinga remains confident

  • Last Updated: May 19 2014, 17:20 BST

World champions Sri Lanka will report to the Oval with mixed feelings, and a selective memory, as they try to set the record straight against England.

Malinga: Sri Lanka captain
Malinga: Sri Lanka captain

Captain Lasith Malinga has three wins from three since taking over from the out-of-form Dinesh Chandimal during the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh two months ago.

Under Malinga, Sri Lanka won their last group match and then a semi-final against West Indies and final against India.

Previously, however, they had lost their only fixture of the tournament to England.

Fast bowler Malinga is accentuating the positive.

"We are a really happy unit, because we won the World Cup.

"We are a young side, looking forward to assessing these conditions as soon as possible.

"We are confident we can handle all the pressure in Twenty20."

The defeat against England is of less consequence, he hopes - although Malinga does concede Sri Lanka's hosts will start favourites in their own conditions at the Oval on Tuesday evening.

"We had a tough match against England in that World Cup. But the past is past.

"These conditions favour the home team. But we'll look to put them under pressure.

"In Twenty20, one over can change the match.

"(But) whoever makes the fewest mistakes in the 40 overs will win, I think."

Malinga's team will not be stressing either over the potential impact of Alex Hales, whose unbeaten century underpinned England's win in Chittagong.

"We're not focusing on one particular opposition player," said the captain.

"If we give him a good one, we might be able to get him out early - but more important, we want to just cut down the boundaries throughout the 20 overs."

When it comes to his own bowling, Malinga will be sticking to his unique and long successful formula.

The 'slinger' kisses the ball before he runs in to the crease, then - more often than not - sends down a searing yorker or bamboozling slower delivery.

Explaining his ritual at the start of his run-up, he said: "I really worship, respect the ball.

"That's why I do it.

"I like it when batsmen come in and want to hit me. I really enjoy thinking how I can stop them?"