Chennai Super Kings in action in IPL 2023© BCCI
Former New Zealand skipper Scott Styris was impressed by Sri Lanka youngster Matheesha Pathirana’s performance for Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 and he had a massive prediction regarding the pacer’s future. Pathirana’s sling-arm action has attracted a lot of comparisons with legend Lasith Malinga and Styris believes that the youngster can become better than Malinga but he will have to improve his accuracy and consistency. One of the Malinga’s biggest assets was his variety and that is where Pathirana will have to work the most.
“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 145kph. And he only had about 3 or 4 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,” Styris said.
Pathirana has taken 7 wickets in IPL 2023 with two of them coming in the last match against Lucknow Super Giants.
“What we’ve seen with Pathirana is that he’s bowling at 145, 146, 148kph, 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 the exciting talent for Sri Lanka, and exciting talent for CSK,” he added.
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