IPL 2022: Speak up, Virat! Dhoni’s sticks to the tried, tested and trusted

When Virat Kohli pushed a ball to the left of cover in the sixth over where it was half-stopped after a dive, he set off for a single. His partner Faf du Plessis wasn’t so sure; he stuttered mid-way, taking a couple of dragging steps, as he waited for a signal from Kohli. It didn’t come but eventually they crossed safely.

Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis take a run during RCB vs CSK match. (Source: iplt20.com)

Once he was at the other end, du Plessis signalled to Kohli to shout out his intention. He even walked across to have a chat and as Kohli seemingly suggested he was waiting to see if the ball was stopped cleanly or not, du Plessis gently shook his head with a smile, and once again gave the signal that he should speak up his intent. Both smiled, and went back to their respective places. The pair had been off to a brisk start, largely through edged boundaries at the start, but were beginning to settle down by the end of the Powerplay. Sriram Veera

Dhoni’s sticks to the tried, tested and trusted

There are some things that are constants in life – such as MS Dhoni’s love affair with spin. Time and again, he puts the skids under a rampaging innings by applying the spin-choke. On Wednesday, Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli had settled in nicely and the South African, in particular, was looking in an ominous mood. But then, in the most predictable turn of events, Chennai Super Kings pulled them back with their combination of tweakers.

It’s probably the oldest trick in Dhoni’s playbook, but oppositions still succumb to it, more often than not. It doesn’t matter who the bowlers are – on this day, they were Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Maheesh Theekshana, who combined to snare five wickets for 75 in 12 overs when the three seamers conceded 93 runs in their eight overs. Returning to the saddle after Jadeja relinquished captaincy, Dhoni stuck to the template that has worked for him for a decade and a half.

Max-imum impact

When CSK look back at their botched chase on Wednesday, they would rightly feel done in by two Aussies. One was a threat they would have anticipated, the other much less so – at least with the ball.

Josh Hazlewood has been a transformed T20 bowler in recent times, and was one of the main reasons Australia clinched the World Cup last year. His spell of 19/1 from four overs (the wicket of MS Dhoni) when CSK were chasing 174 put the brakes on from the beginning.

But Glenn Maxwell’s spell of 2/22 – four overs at a stretch in the middle of the innings – arguably did more damage as it was when CSK would have hoped to add some impetus. The wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa, two batsmen who were expected to take the chase deep, added to RCB’s joy.

Maxwell was run out cheaply but showed one can’t write off the Big Show from any contest.

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