Why Dhoni bowled Bravo on a pitch that suited his slow cutters

Why was Dwayne Bravo given only two overs in the 18th and 20th? That decision taken by MS Dhoni may have proved the difference between winning and losing. This is a two-pace talkie pitch suitable for Bravo’s slow-moving, surface-catching. Dhoni was not asked a question after the match but said that under normal scrutiny on the pitch, he felt that the tall bowlers who hit the deck would face more problems. That suits a bowler like Kagiso Rabada of Delhi, who has the ability to hit the track with his slow cutters, not the likes of Josh Hazelwood or Deepak Chahar. Bravo is capable of delivering full dipping slow, as well as surface-holding cutters.

Bravo won the game in his two overs when he was brought out of cold storage in the 18th and 20th chase. If K Gautam caught the long-on regulation catch, he would have taken out the dangerous man Shimran Hetmeyer. Instead, 14 to 18 fled from the Delhi Capitals to the required border.

But Bravo is not done yet. He almost took it off when he had to make just 6 runs in the last over. He came from four to three after the dot ball, prompting Akshar Patel to slowly turn one of his typical well outside straight into the covers. This time, however, Bravo slipped the full ball over the pads and Kagiso Rabada helped it with a fine leg boundary.

Hetmeyer roared

The most celebrated person is Hetmeyer, hopping, pumping fists and roaring. And why not, it’s a beautiful gem from him under pressure. When Hetmeyer exits at N0.7, under R Ashwin, Delhi Capitals need 35 to 39. Ashwin’s promotion was very understandable as Shikhar Dhawan was still there, and Ashwin showed the run-a-ball situation in the previous game on a slow pitch so he could do the job well enough. As it happened, not only Ashwin, but also Dhawan was on fire, hitting a wide half-volley to cover the fielder.

Hetmeyer played in singles until the 18th over. He almost hit the next ball but Gautam not only relieved him but also got him a four. When he needed 15 runs in 9 overs, he walled off Josh Hazlewood on a backward square-leg boundary to regain parity. There was some controversy in the final over when the umpires called for a full toss outside without landing wide on the pitch. He wanted Ricky Ponting, the Delhi coach, to be no-ball with the free hit offer. But Delhi caught their nerves to finish the game.

What Dhawan does is what Dhawan does

There are no more batsmen than Shikhar Dhawan in 150 types of chase. Especially on slow tracks. Especially these days when he is in red-hot form and can be attacked from the start when he decides.

Dhawan was fined on how to chase in these circumstances. He took the calculated risks against Deepak Chahar, with the new ball. Draw that risk; It’s not. He went on the track to fly Chahar twice across the boundary, but he has been one of the best exponents for seamers in recent years. As with many others, when they do, you may perceive an adrenaline rush and experience danger. Dhawan moves forward steadily – does not charge, does not skip, does not rush. He maintains his shape wonderfully — unopened, sideways, shoulder forward and executes his shot well. And as Shardul Thakur did in the 15th over, he can pull off any big hit if the ball is not right. Eventually, he hit a wide half volley from Thakur to cover to start some play in the hunt, but his contribution was crucial. As if Ambati Rayudu’s fine 55 gave Chennai something to bowl.

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