Lakshmipathy Balaji

Lakshmipathy Balaji


Name: Lakshmipathy

Second Name: Balaji

Date of birth: 27.09.1981

Place of birth: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Role: Bowler

Batting Style: Right-handed

Bowling Style: Right-arm fast medium

Height: 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)

Number: 55

Teams: India, Chennai Super Kings, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, TUTI Patriots

In the annals of Indian cricket, a few names resonate with a blend of skill, humility, and an infectious smile, and among them stands Lakshmipathy Balaji, a cricketer who carved a niche for himself in the hearts of fans and colleagues alike. Born on September 27, 1981, in the historic city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Balaji’s journey from the cricketing lanes of a bustling town to the illustrious fields of international cricket is a tale of perseverance, talent, and an unyielding love for the game. His rise in the cricketing world is not just a story of sporting prowess but also of a personality that embodies the spirit of the sport – competitive yet gracious, focused yet friendly.

Balaji’s cricketing saga began in the early 2000s, a period marked by India’s evolving cricket landscape, and he quickly became a household name with his distinctive fast-medium bowling and notable performances in both domestic and international arenas. Known for his ability to swing the ball and a consistent performance that made him a reliable player for the Indian cricket team, Balaji’s career, though intermittently shadowed by injuries, shone brightly with several memorable moments. Off the field, his affable nature, combined with a radiant smile, made him a favorite among teammates and fans, adding a unique charm to his cricketing persona. This article delves into the life and career of Lakshmipathy Balaji, exploring the journey of a cricketer who brought more than just skill to the pitch – he brought a sense of joy and sportsmanship that transcended the boundaries of the game.

Lakshmipathy Balaji Batting Career Stats

Format M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
Test 8 9 0 51 31 5.67 126 40.48 0 0 0 5 1
ODI 30 16 6 120 21 12.0 152 78.95 0 0 0 8 3
T20I 5 - - - - - - - - - - - -
IPL 73 15 7 36 15 4.5 49 73.47 0 0 0 2 1

Bowling Career Stats

Format M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
Test 8 15 1756 1004 27 5/76 9/171 3.43 37.19 65.04 1 0
ODI 30 30 1447 1344 34 4/48 4/48 5.57 39.53 42.56 0 0
T20I 5 5 96 121 10 3/19 3/19 7.56 12.1 9.6 0 0
IPL 73 73 1513 2029 76 5/24 5/24 8.05 26.7 19.91 1 0

Career Information

Test debut vs New Zealand at Narendra Modi Stadium, Oct 08, 2003

Last Test vs Pakistan at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Mar 24, 2005

ODI debut vs West Indies at Reliance Stadium, Nov 18, 2002

Last ODI vs Sri Lanka at R.Premadasa Stadium, Feb 08, 2009

T20 debut vs New Zealand at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Sep 11, 2012

Last T20 vs South Africa at R.Premadasa Stadium, Oct 02, 2012

IPL debut vs Delhi Capitals at Arun Jaitley Stadium, May 08, 2008

Last IPL vs Kolkata Knight Riders at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Jun 01, 2014

Biography - What is Knowing About his Early Life and Education

Lakshmipathy Balaji, a name synonymous with Indian cricket, embarked on his journey in the quaint town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Born on September 27, 1981, Balaji grew up in an environment where cricket was more than just a sport; it was a passion that engulfed the nation. His early life was marked by the typical rhythms of a small-town upbringing, yet it was anything but ordinary for this budding cricketer. The streets and playgrounds of Madurai served as the first cricketing ground for young Balaji, where he honed his skills, driven by an unwavering love for the game. The sounds of leather hitting willow became the soundtrack of his childhood, echoing through the lanes of his hometown.

Education, often a parallel path for many aspiring athletes, was a significant aspect of Balaji’s early years. Balaji attended the famous Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Madurai, a place that nurtured both his academic and cricketing aspirations. The school environment provided a balanced framework, allowing him to excel in his studies while not compromising his growing dedication to cricket. It was during these formative years that Balaji’s talent started to shine, catching the eyes of coaches and peers alike. His educational journey was not just about textbooks and exams; it was intertwined with learning the art of cricket, understanding teamwork, and developing a sportsman’s spirit, laying a strong foundation for the remarkable career that was to follow.

Career Journey

Lakshmipathy Balaji, an esteemed name in Indian cricket, initiated his international journey as a fast-medium bowler in 2003, having already made a mark in domestic cricket since 2001. His test debut was against New Zealand in Ahmedabad, 2003. His skills were brought into the limelight during the 2004 India-Pakistan series, where he played a pivotal role in India’s historic victories. Unfortunately, an injury paused his international career. He made an impressive comeback against Pakistan in 2005, claiming five wickets in the first innings. However, injuries sidelined him for the next three years. His return to domestic cricket was in 2007, and a strong performance in the 2008 season led to his recall to the international squad in 2009, replacing an injured Munaf Patel. His inclusion in the final match of the series against Sri Lanka marked his return, although India lost the match. In February, he was dropped from the ODI squad for the New Zealand tour but was selected for the test squad, marking his return after five years.

In July 2012, Balaji was named among the 30 probables for the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka and was later selected in the final 15-member squad, marking his comeback in the T20 International against New Zealand in Chennai. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Balaji played for the Chennai Super Kings in the first three editions, starting in 2008. He achieved the first hat-trick of the IPL against Kings XI Punjab and had a notable impact on the team’s success. His IPL journey continued with Kolkata Knight Riders in the fourth season and Kings XI Punjab in the seventh. Balaji’s coaching career began as a mentor and bowling coach for Kolkata Knight Riders, followed by a similar role for Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL edition. He took a one-year break in 2022 from Chennai Super Kings but remained involved with the Super Kings Academy.


Lakshmipathy Balaji, affectionately known as the ‘Smiling Assassin’, announced his retirement from first-class cricket, marking the end of a significant chapter in his cricketing career. This decision came in September 2016, when Balaji was 34 years old. At that point, he had played 106 first-class matches, taking an impressive 330 wickets at an average of 26.10. His retirement was driven by the need to focus on his young family, signaling a shift in his priorities after a commendable 16-year-long first-class career​​​​.

Balaji’s retirement from all forms of cricket, including the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), was also announced, encompassing his departure from the competitive cricket scene entirely​​. Following his retirement from active play, Balaji transitioned to a coaching role, becoming the bowling coach for Chennai Super Kings, his former team in the Indian Premier League​​. This move allowed him to continue contributing to the sport, nurturing new talent and sharing his wealth of experience with the next generation of cricketers.

Lakshmipathy Balaji Bowling Speed and Unique Play Style

Lakshmipathy Balaji, a prominent figure in Indian cricket, was known for his distinctive bowling style and speed. As a fast-medium bowler, Balaji’s bowling speed typically ranged between 120-140 km/h. While he might not have been the fastest bowler on the cricketing circuit, his real prowess lay in his ability to swing the ball both ways, an attribute that made him a formidable opponent on the field.

Balaji’s play style was characterized by his rhythmic run-up and a unique ability to outwit batsmen with his clever variations in pace and movement. He had a knack for moving the ball off the seam, and his deliveries often swung late, leaving batsmen in two minds. This ability to swing the ball, especially under conducive conditions, was central to his success, particularly in Test cricket where such skills are highly prized.

Another notable aspect of Balaji’s style was his consistency in line and length. He rarely bowled errant deliveries, maintaining a disciplined approach that built pressure on the opposing batsmen. This consistency, coupled with his variations, made him an asset in the longer formats of the game.

In limited-overs cricket, Balaji adapted his style to focus more on variations in pace and length. He developed an effective slower ball, which became a key weapon in his arsenal, particularly in the death overs of a match. His ability to disguise his slower deliveries and mix them with faster ones made him a challenging bowler to face in the high-pressure scenarios typical of One Day Internationals and T20 matches.

Balaji’s approach to bowling was a blend of intelligence, skill, and adaptability, making him a versatile player capable of making significant contributions across all formats of the game. His style not only brought him personal success but also played a crucial role in many of his team’s victories, both at the domestic and international levels.

Personal Life

Lakshmipathy Balaji, beyond his cricketing fame, leads a personal life that is less publicized but equally significant in shaping his character and journey. Born and raised in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Balaji’s early life was deeply rooted in his hometown’s culture and values, which played a fundamental role in his upbringing.

Family has always been a cornerstone in Balaji’s life. His close-knit family, supportive and proud of his achievements, has been a constant source of strength throughout his career. Despite the fame and attention that comes with being an international cricketer, Balaji has managed to keep his family life private, safeguarding the sanctity of his personal relationships.

Balaji’s personality off the field is often described as affable and down-to-earth. Known for his humble nature and warm smile, he is respected not just for his cricketing skills but also for his demeanor and approachability. Colleagues and friends often speak of his positive attitude and his ability to uplift those around him, traits that have endeared him to many within and outside the cricketing community.

In terms of interests and hobbies outside cricket, Balaji is known to have a keen interest in continuing to stay involved with the sport, whether through coaching or commentary. His love for the game extends beyond playing, and he is often involved in nurturing young talent and contributing to the development of cricket at various levels.

Regarding his educational background, Balaji’s academic pursuits were balanced with his cricketing ambitions during his early years. He attended Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Madurai, where he was able to cultivate both his academic and athletic skills.

Balaji’s journey is a testament to the balance between professional acclaim and personal integrity. His life, marked by achievements on the cricket field, is equally defined by his humility, strong family ties, and commitment to the betterment of the sport.


As the sun sets on the illustrious career of Lakshmipathy Balaji, it leaves behind a legacy that transcends mere statistics and records. Balaji’s journey in the world of cricket is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the enduring spirit of sportsmanship. While his contributions on the field as a skilled fast-medium bowler are etched in the annals of cricket, it is his infectious smile and genial personality that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of cricket enthusiasts. Balaji’s story is not just about the wickets taken or the matches won; it is about inspiring a generation of cricketers and fans alike with his humility and passion for the game.

In the chapters of Indian cricket, Balaji will be remembered not just as a player who overcame adversities and shone on the international stage, but also as a mentor and a role model who continued to contribute to the sport beyond his playing days. His transition into coaching and nurturing young talent is a reflection of his commitment to giving back to the sport that defined his life. Lakshmipathy Balaji’s name will forever resonate as a symbol of the gentleman’s game, embodying the true essence of cricket – a blend of competitive excellence and the grace of sportsmanship. His legacy is a reminder that in the world of sports, it is not just about how you play the game, but also about how you enrich it with your character and spirit.

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