Sri Lanka’s Matheesha Pathirana has heaped praise on Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni for the role he played in his growth as a pitcher. The 20-year-old has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few months, following an impressive Indian Premier League run for CSK earlier this year.
“When you are young, if someone gives you that kind of confidence, it will boost your career. A player of that level showed faith in me and I believed I could do anything at the time.” Pathirana said.
Talking about what he learned from the former World Cup-winning India captain, Pathirana said: “I learned a lot from Dhoni. The first thing is humility and that is why he is so successful. He is 42 years old and still the strongest cricketer, which is really inspirational. When I went there, I was a kid and no one knew me and they trained and taught me some things.”
“Now, I know how to perform in any T20 game and how to balance my four passes in one game. Dhoni told me that if I keep my body injury free then I can achieve a lot for the team and the country,” he added.
Interestingly, after the game against the Mumbai Indians in this season’s IPL, Dhoni suggested that Pathirana should not play redball cricket. Giving his opinion on how to manage the Lankan speeder’s workload, Dhoni said, “I feel he shouldn’t be playing redball cricket, shouldn’t even come close to it. , even just play ICC tournaments with ODI and keep the rest as little as possible. , because he’s not someone who’s going to change much.”
Pathirana, who plays for Colombo Strikers in the Lanka Premier League, is the top catcher of the ongoing season with 12 catches.
Similar to former Sri Lankan racer Lasith Malinga, the player Pathirana is often compared to, his slip action is difficult to pick. “I am constantly trying to improve my bowling action and skills. Malinga is very happy to meet me because I see someone more like me, ”said the player who is also nicknamed Baby Malinga.
Interestingly, his father insisted that the act was not Malinga’s fault. “We heard that his bowling actions are similar to Malinga’s actions. But he didn’t copy it. He used to hit the ball like that when he started playing cricket. The rigorous training has helped him improve his bowling skills,” the father once told The Sunday Observer.