Trying to put an end to the age-related fuss over Chennai Super Kings squad, Dwayne Bravo said that they were not in their sixties and were still young with a lot of experience.
CSK cruised to a comfortable win at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Tuesday to register their second win in two games this season. Delhi Capitals went down by six wickets to the defending champions.
Hitting back at critics when asked another age-related question during the post-match press conference, Bravo said, “We are aware of our age. It’s there and you can Google it but that’s nothing. We are not 60 year-olds, we are 35, 32-year-olds. We are still young, we look after our bodies and we have a lot of experience.”
Bravo stated his team may not be the fastest but are smart in going about their business. “In any sport, in any tournament, you just cannot beat experience. We know our weaknesses and we play smart and we are well led by the best captain in the world. And he (Dhoni) keeps reminding us that you know we are not the fastest team, but we can be the smartest team.”
“We don’t plan. We don’t have team meetings. We just turn up and go with the flow. MS has a style, and every player has a style. We just watch the situation and adapt quickly and that’s where experience comes in.”
It was Bravo’s spell that turned the game in favour of CSK. In one over, Bravo dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram. In the following over he got rid of Dhawan which snuffed out all hopes of a 175+ total. In that period, the Capitals lost four wickets for seven runs in just 1.5 overs.
“MS wanted me to bowl a straighter line, onto the stumps, wicket to wicket, a lot of seam ups. So today I bowled a lot more effort balls than in other games. Normally, I bowl a lot of slower balls, a lot of variations, yorkers but today the wicket wasn’t suitable for that type of deliveries.”
“And again MS standing behind the stumps, he knew exactly what was required and he also knew that he could count on me at any point in time to deliver for him,” he said.
Pant can’t do it everyday so Dhawan needs to pace up: Ponting
Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting said after the defeat that they cannot rely on Pant to perform well everyday, because of which Dhawan needs to pace up.
Dhawan’s strike-rate has been less than 115 with the 33-year old scoring 43 off 36 balls in DC’s first match against Mumbai Indians and then following it up with 51 off 37 balls against CSK on Tuesday.
Asked if he would have liked Dhawan to accelerate, Ponting said , “Ideally, yes you’d like that. But it obviously wasn’t an easy wicket either for anyone to go in and strike, especially at the end of the PowerPlay. There’s a certain role that we want Shikhar to play in this team. Even by his own admission, he would’ve liked to score quicker today but at the 15th over mark we were 118 for 2.”
“We struggled to get to 147 so it’s the back-end of the innings that I am sort of most disappointed in because I think we set up the front part of the innings pretty well,” he added. “No, we can’t expect Rishabh to play like he did in Mumbai, everyday. No one can do that. No one can go and get 78 off 20-odd balls in every game. But it was there for that to happen today. It wasn’t just Rishabh, (Colin) Ingram had an opportunity as well. Shreyas (Iyer) had a good opportunity again today.”
Ponting, however, justified Dhawan’s slow batting by saying that the opener had injured his ankle. “In an ideal world, yes, we’d want Shikhar to score quicker but it was difficult. He’d hurt his ankle while batting as well so his usual running between the wickets was a little bit hampered tonight.”
The former Australian skipper said that batting at the death cost the hosts the match. “So tactically they had to come out quite hard in the Powerplay and try and get ahead of the game, which is what they did. We probably just over-attacked a little bit with the ball, we probably went searching for early wickets,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it wasn’t the bowling that cost us the game. We were 20-30 runs short with the bat, which has been the difference in the game.”