Former Indian seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji turns 42 on September 27th, 2023 (Wednesday). Hence, it's worth taking a look at his overall international and IPL career. He was one of the key figures in the Indian team during the 2000s era, outsmarting batters with his wily slower deliveries and wide yorkers.
The right-arm seamer received his first call-up to the national team during the series against the West Indies in 2002 and went on to don the Indian colours in 38 games across formats, scalping 71 wickets. Balaji played his final game for the Indian team way back in 2012 against South Africa during the 2012 World T20.
Balaji performed exceptionally well against the Proteas in that fixture, hosted by R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The right-arm seamer took figures of 3.5-0-37-3, bowling the thrilling last over, with 14 to defend. While the Tamil Nadu-born cricketer gave away two sixes to Morne Morkel, he managed to dismiss the last man in the final ball of the innings as India sneaked home by 1 run. With the Men in Blue requiring a larger winning margin to win, it was not enough for them to progress to the next stage.
Lakshmipathy Balaji was part of Chennai Super Kings' and Kolkata Knight Riders' winning squad:
Balaji, who played IPL cricket until 2014, was part of CSK from 2008-2010, winning the crown once, before moving on to Kolkata, lifting the title with them once in 2012.
In 73 matches, he has taken 76 IPL scalps at 8.05 with a solitary fifer. He is now the bowling coach of the Super Kings. He is also one of the few bowlers to take a hattrick in IPL history.