Dhoni reveals his last ball advice to Pandya

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Dhoni reveals his last ball advice to Pandya

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Debarshee Mitra

03/24/2016

After the last-ball win, MS Dhoni revealed that he suggested Hardik Pandya to not bowl a yorker and just keep it to a back-of-length delivery. With two runs required off the last ball, the field setting had to be spot-on and Dhoni made sure his bowler had the perfect field set to bowl a bouncer.

"One thing was sure. We don't want to bowl a yorker," Dhoni said. "It had to be a back-of-a-length delivery, but how much back of the length is the question. You don't want to bowl a wide and by the time it travels to the keeper, the batsman has the opportunity to take one more run,” said the winning captain.

Since the decision was made to bowl a short ball, the fielding needed to be in the right place. “So we were deciding what's a good field and what's the length to bowl. I think he executed really well,” said Dhoni.

He went on to shower praise on Pandya, who executed his plan to perfection. “You can always plan a hundred things and unless the execution is good, it doesn't look good on the field. I feel the execution of the last delivery was fantastic," he added.

Whether there were too many suggestions coming in for Pandya in the last over and if it led to wasting time, Dhoni said “I knew, once the 20th over starts, you can take all the time you want. I can’t be fined. So I took my time.”

The veteran spared a thought for his opponents who had the match in their bag, only to throw it away. “Often it does, at times you look to finish it with the big shot.

And when you are batting well, you go for your shots. Its a learning curve for Mahmudullah as it happens with all finishers,” remarked Dhoni, who is himself one of the best finishers in the game.

“That’s what cricket is all about. If that had gone for a six, it was a great shot. Great courage.

“A commentator can have a look later and say whether it was a bad shot or not,” he added.

Bangladesh required 17 runs off 2 overs, but Bumrah gave away only 6 runs with some excellent death-bowling and derived a lot of praise from his captain.

“Bumrah bowled really well, the second over that he bowled, he was under pressure, with the field restrictions. It was a reflection of his misfield and the dropped catch, but he had to forget about what happened and that’s what we told,” he said.

Ashwin, who won the man of the match award, said he was drained after the high-adrenaline game. “We’ve never really got together and worried so much. I don’t have anything left. I am drained after today’s game. I will just crash now,” said Ashwin.

At the same time, he did not refrain from showering praise on young quickie Bumrah. “Credit to Jasprit in the manner he bowled. He had put down a catch, he went for 22 in 2 overs. He was down but Bumrah came back for us. I probably gave him a cheeky idea to try a Mankad in the end. We might have taken flak, but why not,” added the spinner.

“The thing that was spoken in the huddle was they could take off or they could commit hara-kiri. Mushfiq wanted to lap him, but that slog was the game that sealed it. Mahmudullah’s shot was the pressure and credit to Jadeja that was a brilliant catch,” said the man-of-the-match.

The last over was a battle of the nerves and everybody got together to give their two cents to Pandya. Ashwin joined the party too. “Before that ball, everybody got together and decided what we wanted to do. My idea was to bowl a bouncer, I think that’s the toughest ball to hit for a lower-order batsman. He missed it and we won the game,” said Ashwin with a smile.

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