Shahbaz Nadeem reveals MS Dhoni's amusing advice on how to tackle Chris Gayle
- Shahbaz Nadeem revealed that he had practised the Chinaman just to get the better of Chris Gayle.
- He also shared the advice he received from MS Dhoni on how to tackle Chris Gayle.
Indian left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has revealed a piece of advice he received from MS Dhoni on how to bowl to Chris Gayle. The Jharkhand spinner also talked about how he had developed the 'Chinaman' just to tackle the big-hitting batsman.
When asked if he had developed variations like the 'Chinaman' keeping the T20s in mind, Shahbaz Nadeem responded by saying he had been bowling the delivery since his childhood.
"When I started playing in my locality, we used to play with a cork ball. Since that did not have a seam, the finger spin would not turn and thus I used to bowl the Chinaman. Since I was bowling that from my childhood, it was there in my body mechanics."
The 30-year-old revealed that he started practising the 'Chinaman' again to develop a weapon while bowling against Chris Gayle:
"Why I started bowling the Chinaman again was because whenever I had played in the IPL, I had never bowled against Gayle. So it was always in my mind and people also used to say that Gayle bashes the left-arm spinners a lot, so how should I escape. So I used to say that I will bowl the Chinaman to him. So just thinking about Gayle I practiced the Chinaman for 2 years."
Shahbaz Nadeem then shared the hilarious reply he got from MS Dhoni when he asked the former Indian captain what he should be bowling to the big-hitting Jamaican. He recalled:
"Once I was speaking to Mahi bhai when he came to play Vijay Hazare. I asked him everyone else is fine, but what should be bowled to Gayle as a left-arm spinner. His reply was - 'First of all, you should not bowl to him at all.'"
Dhoni then gave Shahbaz Nadeem serious advice on the kind of tactic he could use while bowling to the burly left-hander, saying:
"'But if you need to bowl, try not to give him the ball in his arc. Either bowl outside his range or close to his pads, so that he takes a single.'"
Shahbaz Nadeem further asked Dhoni if he could bowl the 'Chinaman' to Chris Gayle. Dhoni replied by saying that he could do it as long as he did not give time to the West Indian to adjust his shot.
"I asked him if I can bowl a Chinaman to him. He said - 'If you can bowl that, it is a very good thing. But it should have the pace, it should not be a slow one that he gets the time.' So that was in mind and then I kept practising."
Shahbaz Nadeem on his experience bowling to Chris Gayle
Shahbaz Nadeem recounted his experience when he finally encountered Chris Gayle while playing for Delhi Capitals, who were called Delhi Daredevils at the time. He recalled telling Zaheer Khan that he would be bowling the Chinaman to Gayle when asked what his plan was against the then-RCB opening batsman.
"After that, I was playing for Delhi in the IPL and Zaheer bhai was the captain and we were playing RCB. Then Gayle came in front of me. So Zaheer bhai gave me the bowl and asked me what my plan was. I told him that I will bowl the Chinaman to him. He asked me if I would be able to bowl that. I told him that I can do that because I was regularly bowling that at the nets."
He also narrated how he managed to dismiss Gayle in that encounter.
"First ball I bowled, he played a slog sweep. It got an inside-edge and it went to deep midwicket for a single. Then Virat Kohli, who was there along with him, also took a single to get Gayle back on strike. I regained my confidence and bowled the Chinaman to him. He tried to hit and was caught at midwicket by Zaheer bhai. That's how it started."
Shahbaz Nadeem added that RCB bowling coach Daniel Vettori had even called him after the match to ask him when he started bowling the 'Chinaman'.
"Then Daniel Vettori, who was their bowling coach, called me after the match and asked me since when I was bowling the Chinaman. I told him that I was bowling it from my childhood but started bowling again for the last 2 years after thinking about Gayle."Published 25 Jun 2020, 09:54 IST