Chennai Super king’s batting coach Michael Hussey recently recalled an incident during a match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2018. Hussey revealed that in that particular match he felt that his time with CSK is over and he would be kicked out of his job for giving wrong batting advice to captain MS Dhoni.
Remembering the match, Michael said that one night before the match he studied the bowling action of spinner Rashid Khan in detail. He informed all the batsmen of his team about how to tackle him during the match. It was a crucial match for both the teams. However, the plan suggested by Hussey didn’t work out for MS Dhoni and he was clean bowled by Rashid.
On the Lessons with the Great podcast, Michael revealed, “The night before the qualifying final against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he (the analyst) sent me this split-screen of Rashid Khan. When he (Rashid) runs into bowl, when he bowls his leg-spinner, he holds his finger wide as he’s running in. When he bowls a wrong ‘un, (he bowls) with fingers like this.”
The coach added, “And I thought – ‘Woah, this is good, but I am not sure if I should be throwing this out to the batsmen the night before this massive qualifying final’. So, I am sitting on this information. I am going back and forth – ‘Should I, should I not, would I want it’. And I said to myself – If we play this game tomorrow and lose. And Rashid Khan goes really well, and I have sat on this info and I haven’t sent it out. I am not gonna forgive myself. So, I decided to send it out to all the batsmen.”
Narrating the incident further, Hussey admitted that that players like Faf du Plessis loved his analysis as the batsman always likes to go in detail. Though not everyone wished to use his tip, he sent it to all the batsmen. The problem arose when Dhoni failed to read the ball by Rashid properly and was bowled by the spinner. CSK was in a tough position as they were struggling in a chase of 140. The dismissal of Dhoni added pressure on the team and that was the time Michael feared losing his job. However, he was proved wrong as after the match he and MS had a good chat. Also, Mahi told him that Hussey’s technique was good but he couldn’t implement it due to lack of practice.
“Rashid Khan comes on to bowl, one of the very first balls he (Dhoni) faces, goes for the big cover drive – wrong ‘un, bowled through the gate. And I’m thinking ‘Uh, gosh. Okay, no worries. And MS walks straight off the field, and I am sitting in the dugout. He walks straight up to me and says ‘I’ll bat my own way, thanks,’ and sits back down.” stated Michael
He signed off saying, “As a coach, I thought my days are over forever! But, to MS’s credit, after the game, he was absolutely fantastic. He came up and spoke to me and we had a good chat. He said that the information was correct, but for him, he needed time to go away and process it and practice it.”
CSK managed to win that match against Sunrisers Hyderabad owing to the 67* runs scored by du Plessis. Also, they again defeated SRH in the finals to win the IPL title for the third time.