‘First of all, you shouldn’t bowl to him’ – MS Dhoni’s hilarious advise to Shahbaz Nadeem to tackle Chris Gayle
Dhoni also told Nadeem to not bowl at Gayle's arcs.
Updated - Jun 25, 2020 1:06 pm
Shahbaz Nadeem, the Indian left-arm spinner, revealed how MS Dhoni advised him to bowl against West Indies’ Chris Gayle. The tweaker didn’t get a chance to bowl at the Universe Boss, who’s known for taking the left-arm spinners to the cleaners. Therefore, he developed the ‘Chinaman’ to keep a check on the hulk-like Jamaican.
Nadeem has been mastering the art since his childhood as he felt that his finger-spinners didn’t turn a whole lot. The 30-year-old said that it was a weapon to counter Gayle, who is good enough to give any bowler nightmares on his day.
Just thinking about Gayle, I practiced the Chinaman: Shahbaz Nadeem
“Why I started bowling the Chinaman again was because whenever I had played in the IPL, I had never bowled against Gayle. So, it was always in my mind and people also used to say that Gayle bashes the left-arm spinners a lot, so how should I escape.
So, I used to say that I will bowl the Chinaman to him. So just thinking about Gayle I practiced the Chinaman for 2 years,” Nadeem told on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube Channel.
About Dhoni, Nadeem said that he had met the veteran during one edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Subsequently, he asked Dhoni for a method to counter Gayle. In reply, Dhoni was humorous to start with, asking Nadeem to not bowl to Gayle at all.
But then he told the tweaker to not bowl at Gayle’s arcs, forcing the batsman to pick up singles. “Once I was speaking to Mahi bhai when he came to play Vijay Hazare. I asked him everyone else is fine, but what should be bowled to Gayle as a left-arm spinner.
His reply was – ‘First of all, you should not bowl to him at all.’ But if you need to bowl, try not to give him the ball in his arc. Either bowl outside his range or close to his pads, so that he takes a single’,” he added.
Nadeem also enquired from Dhoni about the ‘Chinaman’ to Gayle. Dhoni replied that it shouldn’t be a slow one as then the batsman would have enough time to adjust his strokes. Moreover, Nadeem remembered, getting Gayle out with the same delivery when he was playing for the Delhi Daredevils against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.