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Occasions when Gambhir set aggressive fields for MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The IPL game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rising Pune Supergiants attracted more attention for the field set by Gautam Gambhir when MS Dhoni was at the crease. The rain affected game saw the KKR captain brining in a short leg, a silly point and two slips when Dhoni walked out to bat in 11th over of RPS’ innings with score read 74/4.

Dhoni, who usually prefers to settle down at the start of his inning couldn’t score freely as the singles turned tough to get with the packed fielding. He crawled to 22-ball 8 before rain interrupted the game and didn’t allow RPS to bat anymore. Later KKR’s coach Jacques Kallis confirmed that it was a tactic to get rid of Dhoni early.

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This wasn’t the first time where Gambhir had such a field settings for the Indian limited overs skipper. In past one year, he has used this tactic on 3 other occasions.

RPS v KKR, 2016 at Pune:

Gambhir had a close field for Dhoni when RPS and KKR met at Pune this season. Dhoni came out to bat in 18th over of RPS’ innings after they lost 4 wickets for 119. With Narine bowling, Gambhir stood at silly point and brought up a slip and leg slip for Dhoni. However, he played out and finished unbeaten on 23 off 12 balls.

KKR v CSK, 2015 at Kolkata:

During 2015 IPL, when KKR faced CSK at Kolkata Gambhir used a similar tactic to tackle Dhoni on a slow and low track. He came out to bat in 6th over against Hogg and Chawla with his team struggling at 69/4. Gambhir brought in a slip, leg slip, short leg and he stood at silly point region. The tactic seemed to have worked as Dhoni failed to play a googly from Chawla and was bowled for 1 off 4 balls.

Jharkhand v Delhi, 2015 at Bangalore:

Gambhir had such fields for Dhoni during the Vijay Hazare Tournament in December 2015. Gambhir, who was leading Delhi were up against Jharkhand in the quarter-final at Bangalore. MS Dhoni came out to bat with his team struggling at 9/3 in 5 overs chasing 226 to win. He got the strike in the 7th over by then his team lost one more wicket. Despite pacers Navdeep Saini and Ishant Sharma picking two wickets each, Gambhir brought in left-arm spinner Manan Sharma for MSD and had two slips, a short leg and silly point. He played out the tactic set for him and played till the end and remained unbeaten on 70 off 108 but Jharkhand lost the game by 99 runs.

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