Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni might not be an international cricketer anymore but he is still conjuring his usual imaging in the Indian Premier League. Leading the Chennai franchise, Dhoni once again took them to the final of the IPL, beating Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday. A great example of Dhoni’s tactical brilliance was witnessed on the field when he ‘played with Hardik Pandya’s ego’ to get his prized wicket, making the cricketing world bow down.
CSK avoided a detour to the final as they came out on top against the defending champions GT in the first qualifier of the playoffs. Having finished 9th in the points table last season, Dhoni’s men showed remarkable improvement this year, putting in consistent all-round performances in the campaign. Though Dhoni hasn’t been able to contribute a lot with the bat, he remains one of the biggest assets for the team because of his captaincy brilliance.
When Hardik was on the crease, Dhoni deliberately changed the field, playing with the Gujarat skipper’s mind, to trick him into giving a catch directly into the hands of Ravindra Jadeja.
After using pacers in the first 5 overs, Dhoni brought in the spinner Maheesh Theekshana in the 6th over, the final over of the powerplay. Hardik looked to cut the ball past Moeen Ali square of the wicket but only found the fielder. Seeing this, Dhoni devised a brilliant plan.
The CSK skipper brought in Ravindra Jadeja from the backward-square to the backward-point. On the next ball, Hardik ended up hitting the ball directly into the hands of Jadeja. Here’s the video:
Dhoni moved a fielder to the off-side a ball prior to Hardik getting dismissed! #GTvCSK #TATAIPL #Qualifier1 #IPLonJioCinema pic.twitter.com/oJow2Vp2rj
— JioCinema (@JioCinema) May 23, 2023
Witnessing the incident, commentator Ravi Shastri said on-air: “He (Dhoni) played with Hardik’s ego there.”
At the end of the match, Dhoni admitted that he can be quite annoying as a captain because of his tendency to change fields often.
“You see the wicket and according to that you keep adjusting the field. I can be a very annoying captain, I keep shifting fielders 2-3 feet. Only request I ask from the fielders is, keep an eye on me. If there’s a dropped catch there will be no reaction (from me), just keep an eye on me,” he said.
As long as Dhoni keeps getting wickets for CSK with his field placements, it is tough to believe that any fielder would mind putting the hard yards for the team and the skipper.
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