Updated February 16th, 2024 at 12:23 IST

India vs England: Ben Stokes uses MS Dhoni's ICONIC Mumbai Indians strategy to rattle Rohit Sharma

Setting a field reminiscent of Dhoni's iconic move against Kieron Pollard in the IPL, Stokes aimed to unsettle Rohit Sharma

Reported by: Vishal Tiwari
Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni | Image:BCCI
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In a captivating turn of events during the ongoing third Test match between India and England in Rajkot, Ben Stokes strategically mirrored a tactic famously employed by MS Dhoni during his tenure with the Chennai Super Kings. 

Setting a field reminiscent of Dhoni's iconic move against Kieron Pollard in the IPL, Stokes aimed to unsettle Rohit Sharma, the prolific Indian batsman. Stokes set up a long off in a Test match in a bid to entice a rampaging Rohit Sharma to hit over the fielder for six. With a spinner in the attack, Stokes was hoping Rohit to attack him and hit around the fielder. However, despite the uncanny resemblance in field placement, Stokes couldn't replicate the success as Rohit Sharma, displaying his class, weathered the storm. 

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Even former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar recognised it as he said “It's a field like Dhoni used to have for Pollard, very very straight ” on commentary. 

Eventually, in the 64th over, Rohit's resilience was broken, but not before he had amassed a remarkable 131 runs from 196 deliveries, leaving an indelible mark on the match.

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ALSO READ | WATCH | Ravindra Jadeja hits ASTONISHING six; Ben Stokes can't believe it, Rohit Sharma LAUGHS

Here's how Dhoni baffled Pollard in IPL

In a masterful display of strategic acumen during Mumbai Indians' batting innings, MS Dhoni demonstrated why he is revered as one of the shrewdest minds in world cricket. It was during the 17th over of the match when the Chennai Super Kings captain orchestrated the dismissal of MI's formidable all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, who posed a significant threat at the crease. 

At that point, Pollard had amassed 14 runs off just 8 deliveries, showcasing his trademark power with a six and a four, signaling his intent for yet another impactful innings against CSK. In the 17th over, when Pollard stepped up to bat, Dhoni adjusted the field, positioning Shivam Dube as a straight long-on fielder. 

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Dube stationed himself near the boundary line, aligned with the stumps, anticipating Pollard's onslaught as Maheesh Theekshana delivered the ball. The Sri Lankan spinner pitched a length delivery, tempting Pollard to go for a towering shot straight down the ground. But Pollard's attempt fell short, finding Dube's safe hands just inside the boundary line.

It's worth noting that Dhoni's strategic move echoed a similar decision he made during the IPL final back in 2010. Despite already having a long-off fielder stationed for the West Indian batsman, Dhoni opted to place a mid-off as well. This tactical adjustment proved decisive for CSK as Pollard fell into the trap, offering a catch to Matthew Hayden at mid-off. 

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This crucial wicket, with Pollard dismissed on 27, played a pivotal role in CSK's eventual victory in the final of the IPL 2010.


 

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Published February 15th, 2024 at 16:30 IST