Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni heaped praise on Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana after his impressive show for the franchise in his debut season.
Pathirana was roped in by CSK as a replacement for injured Adam Milne midway through the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and has since managed to play two matches for the franchise.
Dubbed as ‘Baby Malinga’ for his slingy action which resembles former Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, Pathirana got off to a dream start in his IPL career. He picked up a wicket off the very first ball he bowled for CSK in their clash against Gujarat Titans. The Sri Lankan youngster dismissed GT skipper Hardik Pandya off the very first ball of his first over.
He picked up two wickets while conceding 24 runs in 3.1 overs against Gujarat Titans, and also featured in CSK’s final game of the season against Rajasthan Royals on Friday (20 May). Though he went wicketless, Pathirana was lauded by Dhoni, who believes he is going to have a bright future for CSK in the IPL.
“Our Malinga (Pathirana) is really good. It is difficult to pick him and he’ll definitely contribute next year… in a big way,” said Dhoni speaking about Pathirana after his side’s loss against Rajasthan Royals on Friday.