The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen Chennai Super Kings in exceptional form, with their bowlers putting up decent performances. Among the standout players has been the Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana, whose bowling action has earned him comparisons to the legendary pacer Lasith Malinga.
The young pacer has already bagged seven wickets in six matches. The former New Zealand cricketer, Scott Styris, was highly impressed with his performances and even went as far as to say that Pathirana has the potential to become a better pacer than the legendary Lasith Malinga.
Styris used Malinga’s career trajectory as an example to support his argument, highlighting that he was only at the peak of his game for a few years. Here’s what he told Jio Cinema:
“I think Pathirana could be better than Malinga. I accept that it’s a massive call because he’s too early in his career. He’s not as accurate as Malinga yet, but Malinga was at his best when he was bowling at 145 kph. And he only had about three or four years where that was the case.”
“When he had that speed, and then the change-ups came, you had to respect that pace. When his top speed was down to 135, you could probably look at the slower ball more and react to the yorkers.”
Matheesha Pathirana, the next Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka?
With his brilliant ability to execute Yorkers, Pathirana has made a name for himself in the tournament, promoting Scott Styris to suggest that he will soon become a game-changer for the Chennai Super King and Sri Lanka team in the future.
“What we’ve seen with Pathirana is that he’s bowling at 145, 146, and 148 kph, so he has that natural advantage. He hits the yorkers pretty well. As he naturally evolves and gets more experience, he can hit those yorkers with that action as much as Malinga, but with a quicker speed and the ability for change-ups. He’s an exciting talent for Sri Lanka and an exciting talent for CSK.”
The four-time champions have unearthed some real gems in their bowling department this season, with Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana, Tushar Deshpande, and Aakash Singh all proving to be standout performers in the absence of Deepak Chahar.
However, Chahar made his comeback in the last match against Lucknow, which was called off due to the rain after missing the earlier games of the season. Chennai Super Kings are currently sitting at the third spot of the points table with 11 points to their credit.