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Tests can risk Malinga's career: Sri Lanka
By David Beniuk
16:51 AEST Thu Dec 13 2012

Sri Lanka say they would be risking pace weapon Lasith Malinga's career by asking him to bring his brilliant Twenty20 form to the Test arena.

Malinga bagged the second best T20 figures of all time in a major domestic tournament, 6-7, in the Melbourne Stars' Big Bash league victory over Perth at the WACA on Wednesday night.

But the slinger's explosive form isn't tempting Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, even after former Australian Test quick Rodney Hogg called the visitors' pace attack the worst ever to head down under.

"I think with the injuries he's had in the last few years, it's pretty unfair of us to ask him to come and play Test cricket," Jayawardene told reporters on the eve of the first Test against Australia at Bellerive.

"If he feels he is 100 per cent he'll probably make that call by himself.

"Every time he picks up wickets in a one-dayer or a T20, everyone seems to be putting their hand up and saying he should be playing Test cricket.

"But three or four years back, everyone thought his career was finished."

Malinga missed 18 months of cricket with the knee injury that eventually resulted in him quitting Tests in 2010.

His sheer pace will be missed by Sri Lanka in Australian conditions, but Jayawardene is happy just to have him in his limited overs sides.

"Do we risk all that by getting him to play Test cricket?" the skipper said.

"Test cricket is about bowling 25 overs. We saw what Siddle did the other week - he bowled 60.

"Can Malinga do that? I don't think so. I don't think we need to make that call and risk his career."

Malinga appeared to rule out any return after his devastating BBL spell.

"The thing is that I'm retired already and I have concentrated on T20 and ODI, and that's it," he said.

The Lankans will go into the Bellerive Test with medium pacers Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara and Shaminda Eranga and allrounder Angelo Mathews.

That line-up caused Hogg to tweet this week: "Sri Lanka have the worst new-ball attack that has landed on our shores ever."

Jayawardene defended his seamers, none of whom average less than 30.

"Teams have to start somewhere," he said.

"We probably don't have the pace which you think which is required to win Test matches in Australia but we've got guys who will bowl good lines and lengths and create opportunities."

Jayawardene confirmed he will step down as skipper after the tour of Australia after he was appointed for a second stint in January.

The 35-year-old said it was time for a younger leader, likely to be 25-year-old Mathews.


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