A standout moment of the IPL final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings was MS Dhoni’s innovative field placement for Keiron Pollard.
Besides a regular long off on the boundary line, MS placed a mid off on the edge of the circle. “We tried this out in practice against Mathew Hayden,” MS later explained. “Bit hitters don’t play reverse sweeps and dabs, they look to hit down the ground,” he further explained, arguing that in such cases, a mishit to a fullish length ball outside off would present a catch to mid off, and if the shot did come off, there was always long off to limit the damage.
Brilliant captaincy, I thought at the time as I watched Mathew Hayden at mid off dive to hold Pollard off a mishit, and thus end any remote chance MI had to pull off a win.
Now I am beginning to wonder.
According to sources, Venkatesan’s influence over Srinivasan and the team has risen to such an extent that he decides who should be included in the playing XI and also, shockingly, the batting order.
Dhoni himself was told to bat at various positions throughout the tournament, sources said, even though he was successful at Nos 5 and 6 in the first two matches.
The decision to open the bowling with off spinner R. Ashwin – thought to be a strategic masterstroke by Dhoni – was also allegedly dictated by Venkatesan, as was the decision to bowl Muttiah Muralitharan’s full four overs quota in all the 11 matches he played. Luckily for CSK, Ashwin’s promotion worked wonders for the team.
According to insiders, Venkatesan even decides Dhoni should bat or field if he wins the toss. Though Venkatesan is over the moon when Chennai wins, sources said he comes up with inane explanations for the team’s loss.
“On one occasion, he said the team lost because someone had parked his car on the western side of the stadium,” an insider said. ” To this, our team owner just nodded his head in agreement.
Link courtesy Manu, on Twitter.