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‘Just do that and bowl’: Piyush Chawla reveals how MS Dhoni plotted a crucial wicket during 2011 World Cup

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Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla recalled an instance depicting the genius of the recently-retired MS Dhoni, revealing how the former captain plotted Jonathan Trott’s dismissal during India’s 2011 World Cup match against England. Chasing 339 to win, England were cruising at 111/1 with Trott and captain Andrew Strauss having added 43 runs for the second wicket.

With Dhoni operating spinners from both ends in Chawla and Harbhajan Singh, the leg-spinner explained how a change in field placement orchestrated by Dhoni, helped India break a partnership that was beginning to look threatening.

“I was having a 45 [short fine-leg] for Trott,” Chawla told Wisden India. “He [Dhoni] told me to move that [fielder] from there and get it to square-leg. I said, ‘I don’t need that’. He said, ‘No, just do that and bowl.’ And I got a square-leg instead of 45, and two balls later, he got out because he tried to play too fine.”

Trott’s wicket was crucial since he was coming off a knock of 62 against the Netherlands. The ploy worked as Trott was dismissed LBW, trying to work the ball towards the position from where the fielder was removed. After Trott was dismissed for a 19-ball 16, Dhoni was seen enacting the batsman’s shot and saying something to his teammates.

“He told me he wasn’t keeping that square-leg to stop anything. It was just to show him [Trott] that gap so he tries to play it fine, and he ends up getting lbw,” said Chawla.

England’s charge was led by Strauss, whose 158 helped them tie the match. It was the last tied game at a World Cup before England and New Zealand played arguably the best ODI of all time during last year’s World Cup final at Lord’s.

Not too long from now, Chawla and Dhoni will have the opportunity to plot more dismissals when they play together for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL starting September 19 in the UAE.


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