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Indian Premier League 2020

How MS Dhoni helped a ‘defensive’ Dwayne Bravo find form in IPL 2020

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Dwayne Bravo, who opened his IPL 2020 wickets account against Kolkata Knight Riders, credited MS Dhoni for advising him to not bowl defensive lines in the last over of KKR’s innings, which saw him bag two wickets.

Bravo was carrying a groin injury when he arrived in the UAE, and missed CSK’s first three encounters of the tournament. Though he was added to their XI from the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he couldn’t add to his tally of 147 IPL wickets in his first two matches of the season.

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However, against KKR, Bravo returned figures of 3-37, and celebrated his 37th birthday by becoming only the second overseas bowler to reach the landmark of 150 IPL wickets. Bravo, who had figures of 1-32 from his first three overs, started the 20th over by bowling a defensive line but Dhoni’s instruction to “hit hard lengths” paid rich dividends as he ended up taking two wickets in the over.

“I was looking to be defensive and I started the over by bowling a wide, but MS Dhoni wanted me to hit hard lengths, bowl back of a length and keep the new batsman on strike for as long as possible,” he said during the innings break. “We also had [Shane] Watson in the discussion so it is good to have this experience around and share information. I stuck to bowling the hard lengths and it worked.”

When asked if he was frustrated while out of action in the early stages of IPL 2020, Bravo said, “I wasn’t frustrated, obviously I came in with a groin injury but even when I recovered, I was happy to see guys like Sam Curran and Hazlewood get the opportunity. With my experience, it’s not wise to play the entire tournament.

“We have a good bench, a good squad. When I get the opportunity to play and control the backend of the innings, that’s my game plan.”

Though Bravo conceded only five runs off the final over, restricting KKR to 167, CSK’s middle order faltered in the chase, falling 10 short and face their fourth defeat of the season.

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