IPL 2024: ‘Wickets are a bonus but…’, Eric Simons pleased with Pathirana’s accuracy

Eric Simons, the bowling consultant of Chennai Super Kings, heaped praise on Matheesha Pathirana for his stunning spell of 4-28

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Eric Simons, the bowling consultant of Chennai Super Kings, heaped praise on Matheesha Pathirana for his stunning spell of 4-28 in the side’s 20-run win over Mumbai Indians, saying that his wickets were a bonus, but the accuracy in his spell was bang-on target.

Pathirana missed CSK’s last two matches due to a hamstring niggle, but became fit in time for Sunday’s match at the Wankhede Stadium. His match-defining spell included taking out Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in his first over, before dismissing Tilak Varma and Romario Shepherd in the second half of the innings to derail MI’s chase.

“I was really pleased with his accuracy, he was outstanding in the game. I said to him afterwards, the wickets are a bonus, but his accuracy was really good. Sometimes you’ll bowl accurately but not get wickets. Here, he was accurate and got wickets,” said Simons in the post-match press conference.

CSK now have eight points from six games and are at third place in the points table, with their next challenge being a travel to Lucknow to take on Lucknow Super Giants on April 19. Further talking about how Pathirana honed his accuracy in CSK practice sessions, Simons explained, “I give him a target and tell him to hit the target. How he does it, he works his own technique out for himself. That’s how we do it. I give him a glove, hit the glove. I give him a target at the bottom of the pitch, he hits the target.”

“When you’ve watched someone a lot you pick up little things and act like a mirror almost for some people, and you see something’s a bit different. I don’t try and coach internally. I don’t tell him how to do it, I tell him what to do and he tries and works it himself. His accuracy was the most rewarding for me. Allow him to be unique, don’t try to figure him out.”

Apart from Pathirana, Simons also had some praise for Shardul Thakur and Tushar Deshpande, who used slower balls to good effect later in the match. In the face of MI trying to chase down 207, Thakur conceded just two runs in his final over, while Deshpande took out Hardik Pandya to ensure the asking rate went beyond the hosts’ reach.

“The unsung heroes of the game were Tushar and Shardul. Shardul bowled one of the best overs I have ever seen. At that stage they were looking at 12s-13s an over, the game’s very much in the balance. He bowls the over and it goes up at 14. The game turned there.

“Matheesha will get a lot of accolades and he deserves it because of the way he bowled and the breakthroughs he gave us. But those two gentlemen did extremely well for us to push the rate out of reach out of MI. Tushar is a very intelligent bowler.

“Our conversations are around his tactics, his understanding of conditions and oppositions. One of the things we try and do is make sure bowlers have clarity when they arrive at game and they know exactly what they have to do and also understand the tactics. So not just what the tactic is but also why it is like that. And he has a very clear understanding of the tactic and also why it is like that,” concluded Simons.



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