In anticipation of the highly awaited IPL 2023 match in Chennai on Saturday, Mumbai Indians opener Ishan Kishan has downplayed the threat of Sri Lankan pace bowler Matheesha Pathirana. Instead, Kishan stated that his team will focus on their own strengths rather than worrying about the skills of their opponent.
Despite Pathirana’s reputation as a potent bowler in the IPL, having impressed in his second year with the Chennai Super Kings, captain MS Dhoni has been fully supportive of the 20-year-old and his ability to handle the pressure of bowling during the death overs.
Matheesha Pathirana’s unorthodox bowling action, which bears a resemblance to legendary bowler Lasith Malinga, has been causing problems for opposition batters, with the Sri Lankan pacer regularly hitting speeds of 150kph. Despite facing Pathirana for the first time, Mumbai Indians opener Ishan Kishan believes that the team’s experience facing Malinga in the nets will give them an understanding of how to deal with Pathirana’s unique action.
While the team has prepared for Pathirana, Kishan stressed that they will not solely focus on the young Sri Lankan quick in their upcoming match against the Chennai Super Kings. Malinga, who has since become the bowling coach for Rajasthan Royals, spent his entire playing career in the IPL with Mumbai Indians, taking an impressive 170 wickets in 122 matches at an economy rate of 7.10.
According to Ishan Kishan, with the abundance of technology and videos available, Mumbai Indians will certainly analyze Pathirana’s approach with the new ball and during the death overs to gain an advantage. However, he emphasized that their team’s focus should not only be on one particular bowler, but rather on scoring runs against all the bowlers on the opposition team.
Kishan believes that a comprehensive understanding of the opposition team’s bowling attack will significantly benefit Mumbai Indians in the upcoming match against Chennai Super Kings.
“I think there are so many technologies now, there are so many videos out there. We will definitely analyse what he is trying to do with the new ball, and what he is trying to do in the slog overs. That will help us a lot. But, at this stage, we can’t just focus on one bowler, we need to score runs when the others are also bowling,” said the Mumbai Indians opener.
Ishan Kishan highlighted the importance of respecting Pathirana’s bowling skills while maintaining a positive mindset and looking to take advantage of any loose deliveries. Kishan also expressed confidence in the team’s preparation, having faced legendary bowler Lasith Malinga during net sessions when he was with Mumbai Indians.
“We played Malinga in the nets also when he was with MI, so that gives us a lot of confidence. He was a legendary bowler. We practiced well when he was bowling,” the prolific left-hand batter added.