"Could be dark horse": Aakash Chopra names bowler who can surprise in ODI WC
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that the young Sri Lankan fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana could emerge as one of the leading wicket-takers in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. Describing Pathirana as the "joker in the pack" among the pacers, Chopra noted that he consistently bowls in optimal areas and possesses a diverse array of variations.
At just 20 years old, Pathirana draws comparisons to the legendary Sri Lankan bowler, Lasith Malinga owing to his similar bowling action. The budding talent has secured 15 wickets in 10 ODIs, maintaining an average of 28.73.
Despite his limited exposure to international matches, Pathirana is held in high regard among the emerging talents destined for the grand stage. According to Chopra, Pathirana's strong foundational skills position him favorably to excel as a proficient fast bowler in the World Cup.
Aakash Chopra expresses confidence in England star too
“He bowls in very good areas, where chances of getting wickets are very high. I feel he could be the joker in the pack. So, Matheesha Pathirana could be that dark horse who claims a lot of wickets. He could be Sri Lanka’s highest wicket-taker,” Chopra added.
In addition to Pathirana, Chopra also expressed confidence in the capabilities of England's pace sensation Mark Wood, to amass a significant wicket tally in the World Cup on Indian soil. Although Wood has encountered fitness challenges, the former Indian opener emphasized that a full participation from Wood would lead to a plethora of wickets.
Wood has amassed 71 wickets in 59 ODI matches, with an average of 37.88 and an economy rate of 5.42.