Tendulkar is in the best position to negate the Malinga factor thanks to Mumbai Indians connection, says T A Sekar, the franchise's director of cricket.
Forget the X factor. In Sri Lanka's case, it is the M factor that's making noise. Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga can wreak havoc with any batting line-up on a given day.
If fit, Muralitharan will be a key figure in the Sri Lankan bowling line-up for Saturday's World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium. While the Indian batsmen are famous for mastering the turning ball, it is pace ace Malinga, who may end up posing the biggest threat. The slinger will also enjoy some crowd support because of his Mumbai Indians connection.
TA Sekar, the Indian Premier League team's Director of Cricket, told MiD DAY yesterday that Sachin Tendulkar may play a critical role in India's strategy to negate Malinga since the paceman played under the master batsman for Mumbai Indians.
"Obviously, the captain knows his players in and out. Tendulkar will be well aware of what Malinga does in a particular situation. So, that could work as a great advantage for India," said Sekar, who played for India on the 1982-83 tour to Pakistan.
"There is a lot you can know about a player. And being his (Malinga) captain for some years now, I am sure Tendulkar would have a lot of insight to his game.
"He would know how to unsettle his plans... where he loses his temperament and many such things.Â Tendulkar's experience will certainly be put to good use in the next few days," Sekar said.
Malinga, who has taken 11 wickets in six matches, can trouble the best with genuine pace, sharp bouncers and dangerous in-swinging yorkers, which he can bowl consistently. His ability to strike with both, new and the old ball is also a great asset to his team.
Sekar tipped India to win the World Cup final. "We are playing really well as a team. I can see an all-round effort from every player.
"Sri Lanka hasn't yet been able to attain that. Their middle-order is still suspect and teams can exploit that very well," he said.