Dwayne Bravo of the Chennai Super Kings had an interesting post match conference after his team secured a routine six-wicket win over the Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla in CSK’s second consecutive win of IPL 2019. Bravo stated that MS Dhoni doesn’t believe in holding team meetings before matches and has enough belief in his players to work through any situation, considering the experience they have.
This doesn’t come as a surprise, because ever since Chennai Super Kings have made their return to the IPL last year, they have predominantly had players above 30 and Dhoni has repeatedly mentioned in his post match interviews that the side relies on their experience and core skills, to compensate for the runs that might be conceded on the field. And players who are compact about their skill and clear on their role, do not necessarily need too many meetings or discussions while going about their business.
This is what Dwayne Bravo had to say –
“We don’t plan. We don’t have team meetings. We just turn up, go with the flow on any given day. So yeah we just watch the situation and adjust and adapt quickly. That’s where the experience comes in.”
“We proved that last season, you know, age is just a number. Whenever people talked about the CSK team, they brought in the age factor. We are not 60 years old, yeah. We are 35, 30, 32… We are still young; we look after ourselves, we look after our body, and we have a lot of experience, and don’t matter what, you can’t beat experience in any sport, in any tournament. In anything you just cannot beat experience.”
CSK has in a way revolutionised the conception of T20 being a young man’s game. Not just in terms of fitness, but in terms of unconventionality as well. Rarely would you see a CSK batsman in these two seasons play a dil-scoop or a reverse sweep. The fact remains that they play solid percentage cricket, to their strengths and seem to be outperforming every other side doing just this. Makes you wonder how the other 7 team’s think tanks line up against this.
Dwayne Bravo continued –
“We know we are not the fastest team on the field. We play within our strengths, we know our weaknesses. We play smart. That is the most important thing. And we are well led by the best captain in the world, and he keeps reminding us that we’re not the fastest team, but we can be the smartest team.”
Dwayne Bravo went for 17 runs in the first over but showed all his skill and experience as he got Pant and Ingram out in his second over, and restricted a 180+ score to 148. This reiterates the fact that Dhoni has sized his team’s skills and trusts his players enough to allow their experience to show. By no stretch of imagination was Bravo looking at his best yesterday, but courtesy of Dhoni’s backing and unique field placements (a rather squarish square leg resulting in Pant’s downfall), Dwayne Bravo sailed through and was the primary reason behind CSK sailing through.
“If you look at it today, I bowled a lot more effort balls than in other games. Normally I bowl slower balls, a lot of variations, yorkers. But today the wicket wasn’t suitable for those type of deliveries. Again, MS knew exactly what is required, and he also knew he can count on me any time to deliver for him.” – Dwayne Bravo concluded.
When you have an MSD behind the stumps, there is nothing more than bowling in the decided areas needed to let all of the maestro’s plans come into play. Chennai definitely are the team to beat and with a formidable start, seem to be on their way to yet another IPL trophy.