Malinga battles through pain

5:51 pm on 7 March 2015

The Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga accepts he will be in pain for the entire Cricket World Cup.

The Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga.

The Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But he is upbeat his rhythm is returning after undergoing ankle surgery in September.

Malinga's unorthodox action can conjure a near-unplayable yorker, making him one of the greatest bowlers in the tournament.

The paceman has delivered few of those in Sri Lanka's opening four games of the tournament.

Malinga is still relying on pain-killing injections to make it through matches, but says he is starting to feel more comfortable at the crease.

"I really struggled after my surgery in Melbourne," Malinga said.

"There's still pain in my ankle, but I had to get used to it. Because I wanted to play in this World Cup, whether that meant injections or whatever.

"It's getting there. I don't think I will be pain-free, but I want to get my rhythm back to perfect."

Australia will be hoping that doesn't happen on Sunday at the SCG.

Malinga looms as a trump card for Sri Lanka, a side who have excelled with the bat over the past fortnight but are yet to truly fire with the ball.

If the 31-year-old with the distinctive mop of hair can rediscover his best, it will be a major boost to his team's hopes of lifting the trophy on March 29.