New Delhi, Sep 9: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said that the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka rivalry is the second biggest rivalry in the Asia Cup.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have met 16 times in the Asia Cup out of which, 13 are won by Sri Lanka whereas Bangladesh has managed to win only 3.
The second match of the Super 4 stage is going on in Colombo, between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh after winning the toss elected to bowl first.
Pathan, while talking to Star Sports, highlighted the great rivalry that both the teams share and credited both the teams as a tough competitor in the Asia Cup.
“The cricketers make these rivalries so interesting. If Mushfiqur Rahim had not performed the Nagin dance which became very popular, their rivalry would’ve been a little less steamy. Eventually, cricket plays a key role in forming rivalries. If there is no good cricket you wouldn't enjoy the rivalry too and here you get to see also,” said Irfan.
It was during the Nidahas Trophy 2018 when Bangladesh was staring at a big defeat, after conceding 215 runs against Sri Lanka. Mushfiqur, however, turned the game on its head with his quickfire 72 that snatched the victory from the jaws of defeat. Soon after he hit the winning six, he launched into a ‘Naagin dance’ in front of the Sri Lankan crowd which soon became popular worldwide.
However, It wasn’t started by Mushfiqur Rahim. Nazmul Islam Apu started this trend when he was playing for his franchise, Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Irfan also shed light on Matheesa Pathirana's bowling style and found it unique, and wished him luck for his career ahead.
“There are a lot of qualities of him that make him the star player of Sri Lanka. All the fans focus on his hand while balling. The slinging action that he does, is what makes him so unique. It’s very tough to deal with such a ball. Kasun Rajitha’s hand comes upward while balling but on the other hand, Matheesa Pathirana’s hand comes right from near the umpire which is very tough to pick on. There’s a very huge difference between the two, almost 56 degrees,” said Irfan.
“Apart from his slinging style, what makes him so unique is that he balls by using the force of his lower back. His style is a perfect example of shoulder-hip separation.
“He twists himself more than the legendary Malinga and the more you twist your body, the more pressure you have on your back.
“He’s at the young age of just 20 right now and this could be injurious for him in the future. We hope that this repetitive action makes his muscles even stronger and wish him luck for his long successful career ahead,” he concluded. (IANS)