Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni showcased why he is regarded as one of the smartest minds to have ever played the game when he revealed discussions with Dwayne Bravo on the West Indies all-rounder’s slower-ball variations. Dhoni was at his candid best as he heaped praise on Bravo who hurt Royal Challengers Banglaore, helping CSK seal a 6-wicket win in Match 35 of IPL 2021 on Friday in Sharjah.
MS Dhoni said he is happy that Dwayne Bravo has turned up fit for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and revealed he has friendly arguments with his “brother”. Dhoni shed light on how he convinced Bravo to use his slower-balls as an element of surprise in T20 cricket.
Bravo picked up 3 wickets and gave away just 24 runs as he plotted the downfall of RCB who got off to a flyer in the much-anticipated southern derby in Sharjah. RCB went from 111 for 0 in 13.1 overs to get restricted to 156 for 6 in 20 overs after Bravo triggered the implosion by removing Virat Kohli who was going great guns for 53.
Bravo made life difficult for the power-packed RCB middle-order and removed Glenn Maxwell in the final over wherein he gave away just 2 runs.
When Dhoni convinced Bravo about slower-ball variations
“He has turned up fit, that is a very good thing. And he is executing very well,” Dhoni said after CSK’s 6-wicket win in Sharjah.
“I call him my brother. We always have the fight every year as to whether he needs to bowl so many slower balls or not.
“I said ‘you do it to bluff the batsmen but now everyone knows Bravo is known for the slower deliveries. So why not bowl 6 different deliveries whether it’s yorker or length. Let them be surprised by saying ‘oh he didn’t bowl the slower one’. That’s what it’s all about bluffing. ‘You want to confuse the batsman’. That’s another way,” Dhoni added.
“He is an ace when it comes to this format. He has played all over the world, in different conditions, whenever the team needs him, he has taken up responsibility and done well for us.”
Dhoni conceded that CSK were worried about the dew on the Sharjah pitch when Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli were going great guns after he sent them to bat. The two RCB openers added 111 for the opening wicket before Bravo and Shardul Thakur pulled things back for CSK.
With handy contributions from the top-order and the middle-order, CSK were able to seal a table-topping victory in just 18.1 overs.
“Thought about bringing Moeen Ali into the attack”
Dhoni revealed he thought about bringing Moeen Ali into the attack but held him back and gave Bravo a go to break the opening-wicket partnership.
“We were worried about the dew and we saw that last season. They got off to a great start and after the eighth or ninth over, the pitch slowed down a bit. Jadeja’s spell was very crucial especially with the way Padikkal was batting from one end.
“I told Moeen that he would bowl from one end during drinks, but then I changed my mind. I decided Bravo should bowl because the more you delayed him, the more difficult it was given that he’d have to bowl four straight overs in these difficult conditions,” Dhoni said.
Having begun the UAE leg with two successive wins, Dhoni’s CSK will be looking forward to go one step closer ot the play-offs spot when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Sunday.
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