IPL 2024: Matheesha Pathirana to miss initial games; Mustafizur Rahman likely to play

Matheesha Pathirana became a reliable name for CSK last season.

Matheesha Pathirana
Matheesha Pathirana. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

One of the weak zones for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) during the IPL 2023 was their death bowling. They had an economy rate of 9.9 in the last five overs of the innings. CSK’s bowling coach, Dwayne Bravo, admitted on Thursday that they want to be the best bowling team in the death overs. 

However, the main worry for the five-time champions is the injury of their death-over specialist, Matheesha Pathirana. During the second T20I against Bangladesh in Sylhet, the Sri Lanka paceman suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain on his left leg. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board stated that the slinger would take at least four to five weeks to recover. That means Pathirana will surely be unavailable for CSK’s first few games. 

“We have to talk to SLC to know when he will be available. He is one of our premier bowlers, but things happen,” CSK official told TOI.

With the T20 World Cup being around the corner, the SLC will take a careful approach in the recovery process of their bowler. Pathirana played a gigantic role in the Yellow Army’s victory in the last season. The opponents found it difficult to score against him in the death overs. He was the third-highest wicket taker for MS Dhoni’s side with 19 scalps in 12 innings at an economy of eight. 

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Mustafizur Rahman needs to step up for CSK

Chennai Super Kings have done their homework by keeping back-up options. Newly signed Mustafizur Rahman will be a perfect fill for Matheesha Pathirana for the first couple of weeks. The biggest weapon for the Bangladeshi pacer is his slow cutters, varying his pace. Those deliveries will be really hard to face on the slow Chepauk tracks. In 48 IPL games, the left-armer has picked up 47 wickets at an economy of 7.93. 

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“Fizz will join the camp on March 20, a couple of days before our opener against RCB. He knows what it takes and we’ll see how he shapes up,” CSK official narrated. The Whistle Podu army will begin their campaign on March 22 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai.  

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