Coming down the track and hitting spinners over the ropes was not his biggest strength but Chennai Super Kings opener Devon Conway tried it with great success on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's advice in the win against Delhi Capitals in the ongoing IPL 2022.
After helping CSK to 91-run win with a 49-ball 87, laced with seven fours and five sixes, Conway revealed that Dhoni’s advice on handling spinners helped him score his third straight half-century this season.
“I have got to give credit to MS actually,” Conway said after the match. “In the last game, I swept quite a lot, and I unfortunately, got out playing the sweep. But he (Dhoni) told me ‘I think the guys are going to try to bowl fuller to you tonight. So maybe come out and try to hit them straight.’
“He sort of gave me the guideline to try to execute that,” the New Zealander said. Conway, who has scored an unbeaten 85 and 56 in earlier games, usually plays the sweep shot against spin but was dismissed when he attempted one against leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Against Delhi Capitals, he not only swept and reverse-swept but also charged at the Delhi Capitals bowlers to hit them down the ground. In all, he stepped down to hit four balls from spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav and all went for sixes.
Another CSK stalwart who has been helping Conway is assistant coach and former Australia batter Mike Hussey with whom the Kiwi chats before matches. “I think I’ve heard that a few times now, which is quite good,” Conway said at the post-match conference on people comparing him with Hussey.
“To get compared to one of the greats, Mike Hussey... it’s pretty special to be possibly in that bracket. He’s got so much knowledge, so much experience. Not only in the IPL, but throughout the world,” the Kiwi sad.
“It’s just very important for me as a player to continue talking to him and learning from him and just getting some guidelines when I need it.” The 30-year-old right-handed batter, who has played seven Tests, three ODIs and 20 T20s since making his debut in 2021, said he wants to keep things simple.
“For me, the key is to keep very simple, and authentic myself as a player. My blueprint is simple. In the first six (overs), try to play strong cricket shots, analyse the situation, the surface and the conditions. I just kept up the communication with Rutu (Ruturaj Gaikwad) at the other end.
“He is a class player, he’s really calm at the crease, so him and I have good chats and we complement each other quite nicely in the middle.”