Lakshmipathy Balaji is a former Indian cricketer who represented his country in all forms of the game. He was born in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu on September 27, 1981, in Uthukadu, Walajabad.
Balaji is a fast medium bowler with a right arm who likes to swing the ball both ways. His height allows him to release the ball from a decent height, something that most Indian bowlers missed at the time.
Balaji is noted for his constant smile on the pitch, regardless of the situation.
Lakshmipathy Balaji made his international debut against the West Indies in an ODI on November 18, 2002. In his four overs, he gave up 44 runs and had a humiliating day.
This performance would later result in a period of suspension from the squad.
Balaji made his test debut against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 8, 2003. In a match that ended in a tie, he only took one wicket.
Balaji made his T20I debut against New Zealand on September 11, 2011, and took one wicket in a thrilling New Zealand victory.
Rise to Glory
Lakshmipathy Balaji has had a comparatively quiet test career, but he has shown admirable dedication despite being disqualified due to poor results.
After a disastrous ODI debut against the West Indies, he rebounded to take 12 wickets in the 2002-03 test series against Pakistan in Pakistan. At the time, Irfan Pathan had already made his test debut and was part of a youthful, energetic bowling attack.
Balaji’s Test career came to an end in 2005 due to health issues, and a back injury the same year put his career in jeopardy.
Balaji recovered from his injury and went on to play for several more years, showing a remarkable fighting spirit.
Balaji has appeared in eight tests, taking 27 wickets at an average of 37.18. His highest bowling figures are 9 for 171, his only 5-wicket haul.
In ODIs, he has 34 wickets at an average of 39.52 from 30 games. Balaji’s T20I career was short-lived, as he only featured in five games and took 10 wickets at an average of 12.10.
Balaji began his cricket career with Tamil Nadu, with whom he has played 106 first-class matches.
In his first-class career, he has a total of 330 wickets and has helped Tamil Nadu achieve prominence by being the best bowler in the county.
Balaji’s absence from the national team encouraged him to play more games for his club and contribute to their success.
Balaji has spent three seasons with Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, where he scored his first hattrick as part of a five-wicket haul.
That season, he took 11 wickets. Balaji has also featured for the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. He’s appeared in 73 IPL games and taken 73 IPL wickets.
Balaji also participated in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, where he helped his side, the TUTI Patriots, win the championship. Both Tamil Nadu and the TUTI Patriots have had him as their captain.
Balaji retired from cricket entirely in November 2016 and is now the bowling coach for the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders.
Balaji began playing cricket for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy in 2001, which attracted the attention of the selectors.
In 2002, he was eventually granted the opportunity to play for India, at a time when the country was in dire need of quality pacers.
He mostly got to play in one-day internationals and just a few tests. Balaji’s first series was against the West Indies, and he tried to keep his economy running.
Balaji is one of the few Indian cricketers to have played first-class cricket for the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand.
Tamil Nadu, Chennai Super Kings, India, Wellington Firebirds, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, and TUTI Patriots are among the teams he has represented.