Here’s how Yuzvendra Chahal set up Glenn Maxwell during India-Australia ODIs
Glenn Maxwell feeds on spinners. More the flight, wilder the Maxwell. If the ball is in his arc, he disappears it into the orbit. However, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal belittled the monster into his bunny, having got the better of him on three consecutive times during the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia. And the guile of MS Dhoni was a part of all three plots.
Chahal 1 – Maxwell 0
Maxwell was in the middle of a rampage when Chahal first locked horns with him. Maxwell had already hit four prodigious sixes against Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. One more good over, and Australia would regain momentum. Dhoni kept screaming, “Arre baahar daal, itna aage nahi (Bowl outside the off-stump and not this full).” But it was difficult for Kuldeep bowling over the wicket.
Chahal began the same way. Maxwell’s reverse-sweep found the fielder; it was a bump ball. Dhoni was upset that the spinners were not following the instructions. Chahal then bowled one outside the off-stump, little slower to Dhoni’s glee and Maxwell could not connect his ferocious reverse-sweep. A happy Dhoni wanted more of this. The next ball slipped off his palm, tossed one up, and Maxwell dispatched it over square-leg boundary. Chahal followed it up with a similar delivery, but it was slower than Maxwell expected. It was slightly pitched wider of Maxwell’s hitting arc. The belligerent Australian, for that matter, could have taken a single, but Chahal had him setup before Maxwell could come to senses.
In the pursuit of walloping it into the stands, Maxwell holed out to long-on. And thus went Chahal 1-0 up against Maxwell. If it was soccer and this was a goal, we would have used the word ‘assist’ for Dhoni.
Chahal 2 – Maxwell 0
Virat Kohli knows how to prey on the opposition. He can be wily, cunning when it comes to winning. And it is fair and square. At Kolkata, when Maxwell took the crease, Kohli went to Chahal to get the job done. He was overheard from the stump mic. Kohli wanted Maxwell on strike against Chahal.
The situation was similar. Maxwell had, in the previous over, taken Kuldeep to the cleaners. When Chahal faced Maxwell, the first six deliveries read 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0. All this while Maxwell was trying his best to get behind the line of the ball, but Chahal read his footwork and bowled away from him. Chahal knew that Maxwell usually does not go inside-out. And in the heat of the situation, all Maxwell wanted was to reduce Chahal to rubble. However, for the chess player Chahal is known for, he was not one to give what Maxwell was yearning for. Eventually, Maxwell failed to make contact and MS Dhoni took the bails off in a flash.
Chahal 3 – Maxwell 0
The stage was set for Maxwell to come to his elements. The Big Show was on the cards. Australia were 224 for 2 after 37.5 overs when Maxwell stepped in.
Kohli persisted with pacers Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah before he realised that he had Chahal in his ammunition. Maxwell, not repeating his previous mistakes, took a single. He had one-over break to plot against Chahal, but the leg-spinner was already many a step ahead.
Chahal fooled Maxwell into thinking that he can spank him over long-off. All the same, Maxwell was beaten by both pace and spin. Dhoni, behind the wickets, did the rest.
Advantage Chahal, meanwhile Dhoni completes 100 stumpings for India…