IPL 2024: ‘Wound back the clock’, Steve Smith in awe of Dhoni’s quick-reflex diving catch

Dhoni's scintillating effort behind the stumps left Australia batter Steve Smith in awe and Aussie hailed the 42-year-old's wicketkeeping prowess.

Chennai: Though CSK innings ended on Tuesday without the former CSK skipper MS Dhoni needing to bat but the legendary wicketkeeper-batter elevated the excitement among the fans with a sensational diving catch during the match against the Gujarat Titans (GT) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Dhoni has showcased his quick reflex with an excellent diving grab behind the stumps, leaving the home crowd to erupt in joy. A graphic from the host broadcasters later revealed that the wicketkeeper has stretched a remarkable distance of 2.27 meters to secure the catch off Daryl Mitchell’s delivery, resulting in the dismissal of Vijay Shankar.

Dhoni’s scintillating effort behind the stumps left Australia batter Steve Smith in awe and Aussie hailed the 42-year-old’s wicketkeeping prowess.

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“Yeah, wound back the clock, didn’t he? Just put a dive in there, it was 2.27 meters, it came up on the coverage, it was a great catch. He was standing a bit closer because Darryl Mitchell is not the quickest of bowlers so he was up nice and tight, didn’t have a great deal of time to react but his reactions are certainly still there, aren’t they? Covered ground nicely and just stuck in that right hand,” Smith said on Star Sports Cricket Live show.

Former England fast bowler Stuart Broad also joined in applauding Dhoni, noting that the wicketkeeper-batter has the remarkable ability to impact or alter the course of a game in an instant, even without having to bat in that particular match.

“He’s still pretty good, isn’t he? He’s a legend of the game. I feel for MS, he doesn’t have to bat in a game and still manages to have a moment that moves or changes the game in less than a second. His teammates swarmed in delighted for him and the crowd in Chennai loved it so it was a great moment in the night,” added Broad.

Inserting to bat first on Tuesday, CSK posted a mammoth total of 206/6 on the board as newly appointed skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (46 off 36) and Rachin Ravindra (46 off 20) gave the team a flying start, putting on 62 runs in just 5.2 overs.

After Rachin’s dismissal, it was the Shivam Dube show as he went berserk, scoring a whirlwind 23-ball 51. Dube struck five sixes in his knock but Rashid Khan ended his onslaught in the 19th over when he holed out in the covers.

Speaking on the impact that Dube has had in the side for CSK, Smith said, “He’s got very long levers, he’s just so confident at the moment, isn’t he? Particularly against the spinners. His first two balls for six, and then from there just kept flowing, he kept about his business, he saw the ball and hit it to his areas. He’s just playing really well at the moment. He can take a lot of confidence out of this and he can take that forward in the tournament.”

CSK bowlers complemented their batters with a collective display. Chahar’s 2-28 and Deshpande’s 2-21 maintained pressure on GT. Matheesha Pathirana, who played his first match of this edition, marked it with the wicket of Sai Sudharsan. Mustafizur Rahman’s two scalps earned him the Purple Cap as CSK recorded a 63-run win over last year’s finalists.

Broad further spoke on the importance of getting important wickets at crucial times for CSK. He said, “I think when you’re a fast bowler, whenever you get the opposition captain it gives you such a big lift. Obviously, you have a target in your mind, and I think everybody bowled well, bowled straighter, used that home knowledge and zoned in a little more on that off stump. I think that’s paid dividends for them. The pacers took 8 wickets which is so rare. Whenever we think Chennai we think spin, so to see the pacers take wickets is a huge advantage.”

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