Mumbai: “You have the best leg-spinner (Rashid Khan), you answer,” MS Dhoni had told Kane Williamson when asked about the impact of leg-spinners during the pre-Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 final press conference here on Saturday.
“As a bowler you are supposed to bowl 24 deliveries. If a fresh batsman comes in he likes to take the time to really see the variation,” Dhoni said later during the captain-coach media interactions.
While Dhoni appreciated Rashid’s prowess, Chennai Super Kings batsmen followed Dhoni’s comment as a piece of advice to tackle Rashid and went on to topple Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final here on Sunday.
The last two times, before the final, Rashid Khan played against Chennai Super Kings, he conceded merely 36 runs in 48 deliveries, with 24 dot balls and two wickets. On the day of the final, CSK, led by one of the smartest Indian captains, Dhoni, gave Rashid the respect he deserves to win their third IPL title, chasing 179-run target.
While one has to admit that Rashid was not as menacing as he was in Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2 (against Kolkata Knight Riders), CSK’s approach paid dividends as Rashid went wicketless and Shane Watson, hammering unbeaten 117 off 57 balls, and Suresh Raina, scoring 32 runs off 24 balls, led CSK’s charge to complete a comeback fairy-tale....