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  5. IPL 2023: Young Matheesha Pathirana breaks records, becomes MS Dhoni's go-to bowler

IPL 2023: Young Matheesha Pathirana breaks records, becomes MS Dhoni's go-to bowler

Matheesha Pathirana bowled superbly throughout the IPL 2023 season especially in the death overs and earned accolades from none other than skipper MS Dhoni

Aditya Kukalyekar Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar New Delhi Published on: May 30, 2023 15:30 IST
Matheesha Pathirana, IPL, IPL 2023, CSK
Image Source : PTI Matheesha Pathirana

The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded on Monday (May 29) after Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans in the final. They chased down 171 runs in 15 overs in the last-ball thriller with Ravindra Jadeja turning out to be their hero. It was a team effort from CSK for the entire season but one of them who shined apart and more importantly, solved the team's death bowling issue was Matheesha Pathirana.

Famously known as Baby Malinga for his slinging action, Pathirana picked up 19 wickets this season in 12 matches at an average of 19.52 and an economy of 8. Mostly he was introduced in the second half of the innings by MS Dhoni and the youngster literally stepped up in almost every game. Pathirana has won an IPL trophy at such a young age of 20 years and 161 days. He became the third youngest player to win IPL trophy in the history with Ravindra Jadeja and Rahul Chahar being at the top of the list.

MS Dhoni was quite impressed with Pathirana right through the season and time and again praised him for his bowling. Perhaps, Dhoni also batted for Pathirana to not play red-ball cricket at all and feature only in ICC tournaments in 50-over cricket and also vouched for the youngster to become an asset for Sri Lanka.

"I personally think he is not someone who should play a lot of red-ball cricket. I think he shouldn't even get close to it. Even in white-ball cricket, the 50-over version he should play as less as possible. [He should] play the big ICC tournaments because he is not somebody who will change a lot. This [having an impact in short bursts] is what he will do, so you can always use him at crucial times.

"But make sure that he is fit and available for all ICC tournaments and he will be a great asset for Sri Lanka. Not to forget, he is a really young boy. Last time [in 2022], when he came, he was slightly more lean, but he has added muscle, which means he has got pretty strong. I feel he will serve for a very long time for Sri Lankan cricket, but we'll have to keep an eye on how much he bowls," Dhoni had said about him earlier in the season.

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