Dhoni has plans to neutralise Gayle effect


Gayle the Barbarian, for that's how he appears to bowlers, has just dumped Australia out of the equation, played the highest innings of the World Twenty20 so far and if that's not enough, he is the only one to have hit a century in T20 internationals.
A Gayle Special could make Indians double over in pain but an observant Dhoni, as methodical a captain as any in international cricket, has an ace up his sleeve for their face-off.
Dhoni knows that taking care of Gayle is as good as having won the game against the West Indies despite the presence of redoubtable Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan in the batting ranks or impressive Fidel Edwards with the new ball.
Australia could have still coped better against the West Indies had they got the measure of Gayle. The West Indies otherwise had done everything in its power to ruin their winning chances that day.

Despite early strikes, West Indians had fielded miserably at the Oval last week and by a conservative estimate, conceded 20 extra runs in the field. But for Gayle, Australia could have still put it across the West Indies.
However, Australia had then made the mistake of opening with its' spearhead fast bowlers, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson against Gayle. The quicker they came, the faster they went.
Apparently, Australians had learnt little from the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) or Andrew Symonds had failed to provide inputs to his mates.
Teams, after suffering initially at the hands of Gayle, who played for Kolkata Knightriders in the IPL, resorted to opening their attack with slow bowlers. So it was Yusuf Pathan who bowled first up to Gayle for Rajasthan Royals and in another match, Kevin Pietersen and Roef van der Merwe opened the proceedings for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gayle's returns on those occasions were modest by his standards. He made 44 not out off 41 balls against Rajasthan Royals and then 40 off 37 against Bangalore side.
Dhoni could thus have his spinners bowling at the start of the West Indian innings. Don't be surprised if a Harbhajan Singh or a Pragyan Ojha open the attack against the West Indies at Lord's.

Or if Zaheer Khan, despite his excellent 4 for 19 against Ireland yesterday, comes into bowl in middle overs.
Another plan in Dhoni's mind would entirely be up to luck. How dearly would the Indian captain wish that the coin falls in his favour. Even though the Indian skipper almost always prefers to bat first, it wouldn't have been lost on him that chasing a total against West Indies is a better option.
This probably was the reason why Dhoni chose to field after winning the toss against Ireland.
So bad are the West Indians in the field that even if Chris Gayle is still able to unleash his fury, Indians would be secure in the knowledge they have batters to plan their counter-attack and then there would always be an extra aid of 20-25 runs from the West Indian fielders.

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