MS Dhoni heaped effusive praise on Chennai Super Kings’ Sri Lankan recruit Maheesha Pathirana, calling him an “excellent” death-bowler after his mighty impressive debut in an IPL 2022 game against the Gujarat Titans on May 16.
Pathirana, hailed as Lasith Malinga 2.0 for his similar action with an even lower trajectory and the ability to nail the yorker, delivered a fantastic spell of 2/24 off his 3.1 overs in CSK’s loss against the Titans, emerging as one of their late positives in a season of doom and gloom.
Getting the prized scalps of Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya through his outing, the Sri Lankan gave his captain a reason to smile home about, with Dhoni going on to assess his bowler’s strengths and marking him as a potential CSK regular from now on.
“He is an excellent death bowler. A bit similar to Malinga. Also what happens with his action, the margin of error for him is quite big. With a slingy action he doesn’t get a lot of bounce. Which means even if he commits an error of one yard, it is not like it will hit the middle of the bat. It wouldn’t bounce a lot.”Dhoni told Star Sports.
While stressing on the difficulty of lining up Pathirana on one side of the wicket, Dhoni seemed equally excited over the bowler’s slower-ball variations, stating it forces the batter to spend an extra second in sighting the ball properly because of the dip and the back-spin involved.
Pathirana walked into the CSK squad recently as an injury replacement for New Zealand fast-bowler Adam Milne and after warming to the set-up ended up proving his raw talent and promise in his very first game. The unorthodox quick is another product of Sri Lanka’s longstanding school and club cricket culture.
The 19-year-old was one of the positives for Sri Lanka U-19s through their World Cup run earlier in the year in the Caribbean, taking seven wickets from his four games. The youngster has played only 1 List A match, apart from three T20s in the senior domestic game.