S. SOORAJ | 25th September 2021

It has been over a decade since Dwayne Bravo made his CSK debut. 10 years of being a legend and the biggest takeaway is he is still Chennai’s most reliable death bowler.

The Caribbean was at his brilliant best against RCB, bowling crucial overs at the business end of the innings for CSK. He not only picked up 3 crucial wickets, but bowled an economical spell, giving away only two runs in the last over of the RCB innings.

Bravo has always been MS Dhoni’s go-to bowler when it comes to the final stages of the innings. Despite drops in form and a couple of poor seasons, MSD has always backed his main death bowler, and Bravo is repaying the faith this season.

Against the Mumbai Indians as well a few days ago, a cracking 3/25 proved vital in the Chennai Super Kings defending a target of 157.

The CSK veteran looked as assured as ever against MI, ensuring he didn’t leak runs and took enough wickets at regular intervals, helping the men in yellow see through the biggest clash of the competition with ease.

In Sharjah last night, Bravo pumped the brakes when he saw Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal were flying at the top of the order till the 13th over.

And a little stat, Dwayne Bravo got Virat Kohli out for the first time in the IPL after 22 failed outings before this game.

Even so, RCB had bulldozed their way to 111 runs in just the 13th over and losing one wicket didn’t mean their assault would stop. Reaching the 200-run mark didn’t seem like a tough task at that point.

But the Bangalore batting line-up showed its lack of depth once again and couldn’t hack it against Bravo and Co., who conceded only 45 runs in the next 7 overs.

The former MI all-rounder’s deceptive series of slower balls and cutters seem to work their magic unlike the previous two seasons, making picking him next to impossible. Bravo’s resurgence could prove to be pivotal for the Super Kings, who against all odds are flying.

And just a sidenote- it isn’t just with the ball but we also witnessed vintage Bravo with the bat against the Mumbai Indians as he played a blitzkrieg 23 off 8 deliveries to see CSK through to a defendable total.

Context is key in all walks of life and especially sport.

Dwayne Bravo being superb shouldn’t necessarily be a headline with his class and experience. But considering the last time he was in UAE, the West Indies international was uncharacteristically poor, seeing him shine in Sharjah was a pleasant surprise.

If he was mauled by opponents at the death the last time ‘round, this time, 6 wickets in 2 matches and at 6 per over as a death bowler is sensational.

Pace-bowling, especially during the death overs was the main issue for CSK in the past two seasons but in the first few games since the return of the IPL, Bravo’s got that covered.

While the Chennai Super Kings are a whisker away from a spot in the playoffs, Dwayne Bravo needs to keep dazzling at the death for CSK if they want to repeat 2018 again.