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Maheesh Theekshana: Sri Lanka’s Latest Mystery Spinner

By the time Sri Lanka won the T20 World Cup in 2014, beating India in the final, the man who had introduced the carrom ball to cricket’s vocabulary was sitting on the sidelines. Ajantha Mendis finished his career with 288 international wickets, but also the feeling that there could have been so many more.

Now nearly a decade on, as Sri Lanka seek another global trophy at the T20 World Cup in Australia, they have a new mystery spinner in the ranks, someone who modeled his action on Mendis to such a degree that the index finger of his non-bowling hand also points to the sky in the manner of an umpire giving the batter out. Maheesh Theekshana plays for Sri Lanka cricket team and Chennai Team in the Indian T20 League.

An aggressive opening batter, he found the transition to the senior side difficult, with Pant making an instant impression as Dhoni’s successor. It didn’t help either that Ishan struggled for consistency in the Indian T20 League .

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Maheesh Theekshana: Recent Times

A stunning debut against South Africa in September 2021, which left the batters clueless about which way the ball would turn, paved the way for his name to be included in the Indian T20 League mega auction in 2022. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given how he shaped R. Jadeja’s career, it was MS Dhoni and the Chennai team that hired his services.

Theekshana impressed even if the team disappointed, and there will surely be at least another season of him responding to Dhoni’s prompts from behind the stumps. First though, there’s the small matter of a starring role in a World Cup, something that proved beyond even the once-unplayable Mendis.

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Maheesh Theekshana’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Morawakage Maheesh Theekshana
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 1st August 2000
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Colombo, Sri Lanka
    • Height
    • :
    • 5′9″
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • Bowler
    • Bowling Style
    • :
    • Right-arm off-break
    • Major Teams Played For
    • :
    • Sri Lanka, Bangalore team, Chennai team

Maheesh Theekshana’s Current Rankings

As of 22 Aug. 2022, Maheesh Theekshana is ranked 9th in the T20I and 75th in the ODIs batting rankings.

    • Game Format
    • Test
    • ODI
    • T20
    • ICC Bowling Rankings
    • ---
    • 75
    • 9

Maheesh Theekshana Career Stats

As of 22 Aug. 2022, Maheesh Theekshana has the below stats in the ODI, Test and T20I format for Sri Lanka team.

    • Format
    • M
    • Wickets
    • Best bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Test
    • 2
    • 5
    • 2/28 vs AUS
    • 37.60
    • 73.00
    • 3.09
    • 0
    • 0
    • 1
    • ODI
    • 9
    • 10
    • 4/37 vs SL
    • 33.40
    • 49.2
    • 4.07
    • 1
    • 0
    • 3
    • T20I
    • 18
    • 16
    • 3/17 vs IRE
    • 27.37
    • 25.5
    • 6.44
    • 0
    • 0
    • 4

Maheesh Theekshana - Key Skills and Strengths

Muttiah Muralitharan popularized the doosra, and it was Ajantha Mendis who made the carrom ball a part of the spinner’s armory. Theekshana, their successor, bowls conventional off-breaks and a beautifully disguised carrom ball, as well as the googly. His greatest strength, however, is the wicket-to-wicket line he tends to bowl and his relentless accuracy.

Maheesh Theekshana - Awards and Achievements

Since his debut for the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2021, Theekshana has been introduced to each of the three formats. Originally picked as a T20 option, he made an instant impact in ODIs and became Sri Lanka’s 159th Test cap in July 2022. If he can steer clear of injuries, his accuracy and variations will be a big part of Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup campaign.

Here are Theekshana’s achievements in international cricket:

  • Theekshana has already jumped into the Top 10 of the ICC’s T20I bowler rankings.

  • His figures of 4-37 on his ODI debut against South Africa were the best ever for a Sri Lankan playing his first game.

  • Though the sample size of 18 matches is tiny, so far only South Africa have scored at more than 7 runs an over against Theekshana in T20Is.

Maheesh Theekshana’s Indian T20 League Journey

Theekshana’s performances in the T10 League in the Middle East and the Sri Lankan domestic T20 league has already put him on the radar of Indian T20 League scouts. His initial displays for Sri Lanka merely confirmed that he had a sound temperament to go with the skill, and it was the Chennai team that splashed out ₹70 lakhs to buy him at the Indian T20 League auction in 2022. It may have been a dismal season for the defending champions, but Theekshana was one of the few saving graces. He took wickets, including 4 in a game against play-off-bound Bangalore, and was easily the most consistent of Chennai’s disappointing bowling pack.

    • Format
    • M
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 9
    • 12
    • 4/33 vs Bangalore
    • 21.75
    • 17.50
    • 7.46
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0

Maheesh Theekshana: FAQs

What are the current teams of Maheesh Theekshana?

Currently, Theekshana has played for the Sri Lanka national cricket team since 2021 and in the Indian T20 League, he plays for the Chennai Team since 2022.

Who has become Theekshana’s mentor on the Sri Lankan team?

Ajantha Mendis, Maheesh’s childhood hero, who took 26 wickets in 3 Tests against India in 2008, is his mentor.

Why was Theekshana not considered for Under-19 World Cup selection?

Theekshana’s weight was the main criteria. But it also took him more than 10 minutes to complete a 2-km run. Within months of the disappointment, though, he had shed his weight and brought his time down to 8:28 minutes.

Who did Theekshana grow up with?

It was his grandmother who raised Theekshana and his sisters. She was also a familiar presence at most of his net sessions in school and college.

As a school cricketer in 2012, what award did Theekshana win?

Theekshana was adjudged “The Best Batter.” Before his bowling caught the eye, he was a promising opening batter, just like India’s R. Ashwin.

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