There is not much the bowlers or a captain can do when batsmen of the calibre of AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle are on song, says India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the defending champions prepare to clash with the West Indies on Friday.
South African captain De Villiers and West Indies’ Gayle are two such players which would have kept Dhoni worried and required him to make some planning.
Mission AB was nipped in the bud, when the Proteas captain was run-out against India at the MCG and come Friday, the onus will be on Dhoni?s men to stop the marauding Jamaican from repeating what he did to luckless Zimbabwean bowlers in Canberra during his double century.
Ask Dhoni about plans, and ‘Captain Cool’ gives a generic answer that the best plan is to have no plan when players such as Gayle, AB or Brendon McCullum go all guns blazing.
“Frankly speaking, you can’t do much because if the individual is hitting sixes as you can’t have fields for it.
More often than not, you’ll lose the battle of short-pitched deliveries, if they hit you off the short-pitch stuff also.
There’s not much you can do,” Dhoni observed when queried about impact players.
For Dhoni, the best is to ‘bluff the batsman’ with variation and nothing more than that.
“You look to bluff the batsman a bit. I believe that gives liberty to the bowlers to try a few other things if a batsman like Chris Gayle or AB de Villiers gets going. Apart from that, you don’t have a fixed plan as to if you do this, this will happen,” Dhoni was frank in his assessment.
“Chris Gayle?s back has been same for me for the last three years. He continues to come up and win matches for West Indies. I know, once he is fit, he will turn up and give his all for the team,” said Sammy, who will now play alongside Gayle for IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gayle yesterday at the Murdoch Oval ground had a lengthy one-on-one discussion with the West Indies great Clive Lloyd.
It wasn’t? Clear as to what they discussed but it could have been about his own batting and the responsibility that he needs to take for the team.