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Thursday, April 25 2024

In 2010, I thought Dhoni didn’t know how to bat: Nortje

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New Delhi: South Africa speedster Anrich Nortje on Monday recalled MS Dhoni as a batsman who he thought didn’t know how to use his feet and bat while bowling to him during nets in the 2010 Champions League T20 in South Africa.

Nortje, now with Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, was 16 then and was called upon to bowl at the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) nets. Dhoni was leading CSK.

“I wasn’t that big, so wasn’t scaring anyone. It was age group [that I was playing those days], so I wasn’t that quick,” said Nortje on The Grade Cricketer podcast.

“I remember bowling to MS in the nets there. He didn’t look like he could bat, to be honest. I didn’t realize it was him. He hit a couple of balls almost standing still and not using any feet as he does. [But] afterward, he was such a nice man to see everyone and realize who they were,” Nortje said from West Indies where he is currently located with the South Africa team that is due to play white-ball series.

“I am not going to lie. I did think he didn’t know how to bat,” added the 27-year-old. “It was a nice buildup seeing everyone around in the nets. They were just to block, get their eyes in.”

The SA pacer helped Delhi Capitals to qualify for the 2020 IPL final, taking 22 wickets.

Dhoni’s CSK went on to win the Champions League T20 beating South African local team Warriors in the final by eight wickets.

Dhoni aggregated 91 across five innings although he remained not out in three of those innings. He averaged 45.5 thanks to his unbeaten knocks. His highest was 31 not out and in the final, he remained unbeaten on 17.

CSK won the title again in 2014. Between these two titles by CSK, Mumbai Indians won twice – in 2011 and 2013.

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