Australia have masterplan to counter Sri Lanka’s Malinga

March 4, 2011 (AFP) – Defending champions Australia insist they have a plan to tackle Sri Lanka’s record-breaking Lasith Malinga in Saturday’s mouth-watering World Cup clash. The co-hosts are considering playing all their three spinners — Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath — but Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his team is braced for all potential threats.

“We have played a fair bit against Malinga over the years. Obviously he had a great game against Kenya, so he was one of the main focuses in our team meetings and we talked about the right ways to tackle him,” said Ponting.

The 27-year-old Malinga took a career-best 6-38, including his second World Cup hat-trick, against a Kenyan side bamboozled by his unique slingshot action.

“Malinga’s bowling in the middle overs with the older ball was particularly good, so we have to make sure he doesn’t take wickets but we still can’t focus on one of their bowlers,” said Ponting, whose team is chasing a fourth consecutive World Cup title.

These two sides met in the World Cup final in Bridgetown four years ago with Australia winning by 53 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis formula, a controve