IPL 2019: Hodge hails MS Dhoni for asking Harbhajan to bowl early on

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IPL 2019: Brad Hodge Hails Smart MS Dhoni for Asking Harbhajan Singh to Bowl Early on for the CSK 

IPL 2019: Brad Hodge Hails Smart MS Dhoni for Asking Harbhajan Singh to Bowl Early on for the CSK
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Australian former batsman, Brad Hodge has heaped praise on Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni for a significant move during the opener of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. On March 23, in the ongoing IPL 2019 season, Super Kings spin bowlers were the chief architect for the defending champions. Old guard Harbhajan Singh has rolled over his golden arm to perfection against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

From Harbhajan to Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja, their domination has caught the RCB batters off guard. The spin trio has conceded just 44 runs in their 12 overs which is enough to reveal RCB’s batting collapse in the much-awaited clash.

The senior off-spinner Harbhajan has bagged three crucial wickets by conceding just 20 runs in four overs.

While putting in weight behind the CSK, Hodge said Dhoni has been decisive in such conditions. He added, Harbhajan has done tremendously well even not playing too many games.

IPL 2019: Brad Hodge saw the inclusion of Harbhajan Singh as a match-up –

Harbhajan Singh, Brad Hodge, IPL 2019, MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings
Brad Hodge has served for Kings XI Punjab and Kings X Punjab in a coaching capacity. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Furthermore, speaking on the lines of impact of the spinners in Chennai – Harbhajan, who tore through RCB’s batting order. Hodge has backed him for dictating terms on a surface which has literally served as a rank turner.

“I think it was actually a good match-up against the RCB were they had the number of left-handers in their top-order. So, I think that probably swayed the decision to Harbhajan’s favour. And it (has) worked off,” Hodge said on ESPNcricinfo.

Besides, the 37-year-old Dhoni, who is an astute thinker, has made a norm of masterstrokes.

“I am glad that MSD brought him on earlier. I thought that was a good move to get him into the game when he hasn’t played a lot of cricket. So, he delivered… It was a quality performance,” Hodge maintained.

Apart from it, the inclusion has taken many by surprise as Dhoni played only three foreign players which included Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson.

On a sluggish surface which turned out to be a woeful pitch after being left undercover for four days according to the RCB skipper Virat Kohli, the hosts’ spinners had dictated the terms by eking out as many as eight wickets.

The only batsman for RCB who could show some resistance was wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel. He faced 35 deliveries for his 29. Ab de Villiers and Kohli also faced the heat with Shimron Hetmyer returning on nought after he was found short of his crease.

South Africa recruit Tahir has given away just nine runs for his three wickets in four overs. The left-arm orthodox spinner Jadeja bagged two wickets in his quota of four overs.

After rattling the RCB on 70, CSK overhauled the target in 17.4 overs by losing three wickets. As Waston returned without scoring his partner, Ambati Rayudu scored 28 (42).

Suresh Raina, who became first to scale 5,000 IPL runs, managed to score 21-ball 19. In the meantime, Kedar Jadhav 13 (19) and Jadeja 6 (15) saw CSK home with 14 balls to spare.

For RCB, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali and Mohammed Siraj bagged wicket apiece.

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