IPL 2019 | Dhoni Credits Lightning-quick Stumpings to ‘Tennis Ball Cricket’

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: May 2, 2019, 4:13 PM IST
IPL 2019 | Dhoni Credits Lightning-quick Stumpings to ‘Tennis Ball Cricket’

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MS Dhoni has credited playing tennis ball cricket in his early years for the lightning-quick reflexes that allow him to produce the kinds of stumpings he pulled off in Chennai Super Kings’ big win over Delhi Captials on Wednesday night. Dhoni effected two quicksilver stumpings to account for Chris Morris and Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer, who was the highest scorer of the innings. Both dismissals, off Ravindra Jadeja, left the batsman in question bemused and drew peals of applause from an appreciative home crowd at Chennai besides creating a storm on social media.

“I think it's something that's come from tennis-ball cricket. But you still have to do the basics and graduate to that level,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation. “If you want to keep like that you can make mistakes so I still think basics are most important.”

Dhoni, who had been unwell coming into the game, had earlier made a telling contribution with the bat too. Coming in to bat at 87 for 2 in the 14th over, he clobbered 44 in 22 balls to take his team to a healthy score of 179. As is usually the case, Dhoni bided his time before launching the final assault, with 21 coming off the final over from Trent Boult including two sixes off the final two deliveries. Dhoni even stole a bye off a wide ball to ensure he got on strike instead of Ambati Rayudu who had come into bat in the 19th over.

“It's easier for somebody who has played 10 or 15 overs than somebody who has just come in bat. I felt it would've been difficult for Rayudu to hit, " Dhoni said.

Dhoni also expressed his gratitude towards the passionate supporters of the team who have christened him “Thala”, which means lion hearted or head.

“I have always said it's very special to get that kind of a nickname,” he said. “The way I got accepted in the whole of Tamil Nadu, they don't call my name, they call me ‘Thala’. It's very nice and they have always supported us."
First Published: May 2, 2019, 12:19 AM IST
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