Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the three-time Indian Premier League champions, won their maiden title in 2010, beating Mumbai Indians in the final at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Chasing 169 for the win, Mumbai Indians were well on course before MS Dhoni’s “homework” helped the Chennai-based franchise to take control of the proceedings and eventually lift the trophy.
Shadab Jakati, former CSK left-arm spinner, in a chat with Wisden India revealed how MS Dhoni’s plan against Mumbai’s right-handed batsmen worked and he got the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar.
“I had gone for 21 runs in my first two overs,” Jakati recalled. “With left-hander Abhishek Nayar batting, Dhoni told me I’d now bowl in the middle overs,” Jakati said.
“(He kept) me for the right-handers – Sachin Tendulkar, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard. We had done our homework against MI’s right-handers, who were potentially weak against left-arm spinners,” the spinner added.
Dhoni’s idea worked and Jakati, in his third over, gave away just five runs and got Tendulkar chipping a straight delivery to mid-off while two deliveries later, he got Saurabh Tiwary caught in the deep.
Further speaking on the captaincy tactics of MS Dhoni, Jakati mentioned that Dhoni allows every bowler to think on their own and only when things don’t go according to the plan, he chips in with his suggestion.
“He never attended any bowlers’ meeting,” Jakati said. “(That’s) purely because he backs his own instincts and gut feeling at that particular time of the match. He gave us freedom to choose our fields, and if it didn’t work, he’d use his brains. But the first preference was us,” Jakati concluded.