IPL 2018: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is Unbelievably Quick, Says Michael Hussey
Before Saturday’s game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Ravindra Jadeja was having a nightmare of an Indian Premier League (IPL).
The all-rounder had scored only 59 runs in the first nine games. His performance with the ball was equally poor as he could take only three wickets. The lapses in the field only made the season worse for him.
But despite his modest returns with both bat and ball, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) retained him in the playing eleven. And the Saurashtra star proved his worth in gold against Royal Challengers, blowing away the Virat Kohli-led side with a stunning bowling display.
The left-arm orthodox spinner took three wickets for just 18 runs to help Super Kings restrict the Royal Challengers to 127 for nine.
Jadeja first castled Kohli for just eight to open the floodgates. Later in the innings, he dismissed in-form Mandeep Singh and the dangerous Parthiv Patel, who was batting on 53.
The batsmen then did their part by taking the team home with two overs remaining. Cameos from Ambati Rayudu (25-ball 32), Suresh Raina (21-ball 25) and captain MS Dhoni’s 23-ball 31 took the two-time IPL champions home comfortably.
Speaking after the win, batting coach Micheal Hussey said that the challenge for the team management was to keep Jadeja in a positive frame of mind when things were not going well.
“With Jadeja, it’s just about trying to keep him in the positive frame of mind, that’s the nature of T20 cricket. If you look at his role, it’s one of the difficult roles in T20 to play. With the bat, he might often come in with a handful of balls to play and everyone is expecting him to hit two or three sixes, it’s not easy to come in and straightaway hit the ball out of the park. With the ball, he hasn’t got the doosras and the mystery balls, he does what he does and he does it really well,” Hussey remarked.
“MS has shown in the last few matches that he is keen to keep backing him and we know how good he can be once he gets his confidence up so I was really pleased for him tonight. He hasn’t always had results go his way but tonight he got the result and I’m happy for him,” said Hussey.
Hussey then lavished praise on MS Dhoni who once again impressed from behind the stumps as well in front of it.
The 36-year old Dhoni affected two stumpings including that of AB de Villiers before proving his mettle with the bat. He scored unbeaten 31 off 23 including the three sixes he hit in the 18th over to take his team home.
“My observations are he’s got to be the fastest in the world against the spinners in taking the bails off. He’s unbelievably quick. He’s a fantastic keeper, he’s been in unbelievably good form with the bat, probably the best I’ve seen him play for quite a few years,” said Hussey.
Michael Hussey reiterated Dhoni is a calm and composed character while adding the camp is gelling well.
“What I like about him, apart from watching him bat, is that a great person on and off the field. He’s very inclusive, tries to enjoy the tournament, gets the young Indian players to just enjoy their cricket. And MS really promotes that. Some days you win, some days you lose but let’s got out there and enjoy. Let’s play with a smile on our faces,” he added.