IPL 2018: Zaheer Khan backs MS Dhoni's persistence with Ravindra Jadeja

Zaheer thinks it will benefit Chennai Super Kings.

Zaheer Khan | IANS

MS Dhoni was criticized for persisting with Ravindra Jadeja even after his consecutive failures which cost the team. But the all-rounder finally delivered for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and that would have surely given Dhoni a sigh of relief.

He shocked Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with his brilliant spell of 3/18 which included RCB skipper Virat Kohli's dismissal as well.

Before that game Jadeja had a forgettable night against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), not only he failed with the bat, the southpaw had dropped two dollys on the field. But he did well to recover and bag a Man of the Match award against Kohli led RCB.

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan thinks Dhoni sticking with Jadeja could help CSK. "MS is making sure Jadeja is getting game-time bowling. He's giving him that responsibility. This is going to be key," Zaheer was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

"MS is very smart that way, he understands how important Jadeja's role is going to be as they get into the Play-Off phase of the tournament. In the subcontinent, you've seen the wickets get slower and slower in April-May. As the tournament progresses, the wickets will get tired with plenty of games being played on them. Usually, groundsmen everywhere prepare just one or two strips on which all the matches are played. So those wickets do tire down, and once they're on the slower side your slow bowlers are going to come into the picture. MS is looking far ahead and saying that let me prepare my arsenal in that way," added Zaheer.

It was CSK's skipper who ran through the RCB batting line-up, ensuring that the big names couldn't last long in the middle. Dhoni was all praise for his spin bowlers. "Spinners did not get turn (from the track) and I felt they needed to bowl really well. That's where Bhajju pa (Harbhajan Singh) and Jadeja did well. On surfaces such as these, Jadeja bowls really well. He got Virat and then AB de Villiers getting out (to Harbhajan) early helped him. We bowled well as a team," he said after the match.

Even after a good performance against Bangalore, Dhoni is worried about the death bowling which has been poor in the last few games. "What we're slightly worried about is the bowling department - if you see the first few games, there was no individual, who stepped up and said he could bowl in the death overs. Identifying our death bowler before the knockouts is the only thing we're worried about and that's why we're making a few changes," Dhoni said.

"We're playing with multiple bowlers - two spinners and the rest pacers - that takes the pressure off the rest and allows Bravo to bowl at the death. He's a specialist in the death and doesn't need to always bowl four overs. There's pressure on everyone. In the nine or ten games, no one has consistently shown that they can step up and take responsibility," added Dhoni.

By Sihyeu Singh - 07 May, 2018

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