Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag showered praise on the ‘sharp brain’ of MS Dhoni as the latter led his team to a 20-run victory over Mumbai Indians (MI). The match was hanging in the balance before a couple of quick breakthroughs for CSK tilted the scales in their favour.
The demons of UAE were back to haunt CSK as they lost wickets early after choosing to bat first. An inspired performance from Ruturaj Gaikwad (88* off 58 balls) took them to a competitive total which proved to be a few too many runs for the MI team that was without Rohit Sharma.
“MS Dhoni’s captaincy was spot on, no doubt about that. He doesn’t plan before the game. He observes the things on the field and takes call accordingly. He watches the opposition batsmen and deploys bowling attack according to that.”
“He anticipates in such a way that if a batter is comfortable against pace, he brings in a spinner and vice-versa. The best example was when he set the field for Dwayne Bravo. Four fielders were inside the circle to stop singles and generate the possibilities of a wicket. And that’s how they got rid of Ishan Kishan,” Sehwag told in a conversation with Cricbuzz.
If anybody has the sharpest brain in the league, it’s MS Dhoni – Virender Sehwag
The 42-year-old Sehwag further mentioned the tactical astuteness shown by Dhoni when he brought on the quick bowlers against the danger man Kieron Pollard. The burly West Indian has been a thorn in CSK’s side but he was nipped out early when Josh Hazlewood struck him on the pads for an easy LBW.
“Indeed, he’s a good captain but, his bowlers bowl according to the field setup. If anybody has the sharpest brain in this league, it’s MS Dhoni. For me, the turning point was bringing in Josh Hazlewood against Kieron Pollard. Because he knew, if he gets a spinner to bowl, Pollard won’t spare the bowler. So, I think, the game changed from there,” Sehwag added.
CSK beat MI by 20 runs in the first game after the resumption of the IPL 2021 season. They moved to the top of the table by virtue of a better run rate.