Chennai v Rajasthan, IPL 2010, Chennai April 3, 2010

Bustling Bollinger buoys Chennai

There were no signs of jet lag or weariness when Bollinger charged in and maintained his accuracy, while his colleagues were getting hammered

When Doug Bollinger boarded the flight from New Zealand, he could have scarcely imagined his transformation to a superhero to thousands in Chennai. When Chennai Super Kings signed on the hugely successful left-arm quick as the replacement for the injured Jacob Oram, they'd put their money on the right guy to shore up the team's lack of quality bowlers. It was only a question of how soon he could arrive and get to work. His grand entry couldn't have been timed better, with Chennai urgently needing wins to keep pace with the table leaders.

There were no signs of jet lag or weariness owing to the city's hot and sultry weather when Bollinger charged in and maintained his pin-point accuracy, while his colleagues were getting hammered. How Bollinger managed to acclimatise so quickly is a story in itself and it's a testament to his spirit, whether he's wearing a jersey with the Cricket Australia logo or an IPL franchise's.

He had just one training session on the eve of the game to adjust to the new environment, and the belter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium was a world apart from the friendlier conditions at Hamilton. After Albie Morkel leaked 14 off the opening over, Bollinger silenced Rajasthan Royals' opening pair of Michael Lumb and Naman Ojha with just one run off his first over.

Bollinger utilised his strength straightaway, which is to hurry the batsmen with pace and bounce. Ojha uneasily fended off the first three deliveries directed at his body and finally got off the strike with a nudge to the on side. Lumb gave the charge but was comprehensively beaten for pace and bounce, before squeezing out a yorker.

A bouncer which cleared the keeper MS Dhoni was the only miss in another near-perfect over. Eight dot balls out of twelve during the Powerplay overs is astonishing in Twenty20s, particularly on this pitch. The gulf between him and the rest was highlighted in the next two overs, by Morkel and Sudeep Tyagi, in which 33 were scored. When Bollinger returned for his second spell in the 16th over, the rest had hemorrhaged 146 runs in 11 overs.

Little wonder that the partisan crowd - quietened by Shane Watson and Ojha's onslaught - started chanting Bollinger's name when he took the ball again. The sight of Muttiah Muralitharan being thumped for three sixes and a four by Watson gave Dhoni the cue to bring back his best bowler on the day.

The impact was immediate when Watson swished and lost his off stump to a slower off cutter. Even the well-set Ojha was silenced again with three cunning variations - a short ball followed by a yorker and then a slower ball. The chants grew louder with every dot ball. Bollinger's stunning catch at the boundary to get rid of Yusuf Pathan endeared him even more to his adopted crowd.

Dhoni took Bollinger off briefly for a final flurry at the death. Chennai conceded a further 25 off two overs before his final over. Rajasthan still had an outside chance when Bollinger returned in the penultimate over, needing 37 more, but he conceded only four to effectively end the contest. His extra yards of pace were too much for the duo of Ojha and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, who failed to clear the infield. When he rounded off his spell, with a yorker, a few of his team-mates in the vicinity rushed to pat him on the back. In an innings where the rest conceded at least 11 an over, Bollinger gave away just 15 off his four. If he continues to draw crowds at this rate, we may soon see him kissing the Super Kings logo in celebration.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jim on April 4, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    Hey Kamesh Max - Good to know you support Chennai SK. And they did brilliantly with Dougie on their side.

    Read your comments on - good points, but could you now please forget about the word "sledging"? It doesn't apply to Aussies any more. Once upon a time, yes, they were the Super Kings of sledging but that's a long time ago - we have movd on since then and the new crop of players like Dougie and Warner, etc. are just there to display their cricketing talents.

    Enjoy them and don't continue to use that old hackneyed phrase that Ausies are champions at sledging - it shows you have not moved on and are still thinking of the old days. Let that go. Live for now and enjoy cricket.

    The odd word or two or a nasty look from a bowler to a batsman is exaggerated when captured by the cameras to add to the excitement that is T20 - it's for effect, not to be taken literally. Without that "masala", watching cricket on TV would be very bland.

  • dalo on April 4, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    oh it was a excellent decision by the chennai to bring in bollinger as a replacement for oram chennai were lacking in its fast bowling department and mow there is a hope to restict the opposite sides to chennai have always been brilliant in their batting now in bowling to.chennai r definite contenders for the semis.common chennai

  • Dummy4 on April 4, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    AUSSIEs rock in BATTIng ,bowling, feilding wait i think i left one thing sledging

  • RajaSatish on April 4, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    I was in the stadium during this run feast....and after seing Doug bowl, it was like ' ATLAST WE(CSK) HAVE A FAST BOWLER'.He won the match for us. Nothing to take away from M.Vijay, who was considered to be a Test match material. As Robin Jackman said Chennai Kings were really Super last evening.

  • Keshav on April 4, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    oh boy!! Dougie was brilliant... i made my throat sore shouting "Bollinger!" never imagined i wold cheer for an Aussie... great show by him though... he made the difference after Vijay's onslaught...

  • paraa on April 4, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    I was in ground and we were spell bound by his accurate and quick bowling,energy on the field and his superb catch.There was talk in the ground that he is going to be the SAVIOUR for CSK this season..

  • vikram on April 4, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Great spell of fast furious bowling on Indian Subcontinent! All other teams in T20 World Cup must be happy to know that Shaun Tait is playing and Doug Bollinger is NOT Selected in T20 World Cup Australian side

  • Rahul on April 4, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    We indian fans specially and most of the other cricket fans across the globe love to hate aussies but one should certainly give the credit where it is due. Doug travelled from NZ after playing test matches where required skill sets and execution of plans are vastly different from that of a T20 format. Add to that jet lags, travle fatigue and unbearable chennai hit and humidity. But he was on money from ball one, excellent and sharp in the field and deadly and clever in the death overs. 4 overs are relatively small numbers to show your potential as bowler but dougiee was a game breaker. A true professional performance without any fuss. Guys like yuvraj can learn a lot from guys like doug who look disinterested, sulk and give reason of injuries for the dismal performance after being paid millions.

  • gopala on April 4, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    the csk team has got its balance back now that dougie boy has come..i really like his attitude and hope he continues to enchant us with his great bowling..yesterday what we saw was twenty20 bowling at its best..he's even better than mitchell johnson who has been taken apart by indian batsmen numerous times..and the catch of yusuf pathan was....well, no words come to came at such a crunch situation. Should have seen the smile on dhoni's face who usually isn't that enthusiastic..He has really impressed the chennai he can regard chennai as his second home just like haydos does.. Hats off, douggie boy..

  • ashok on April 4, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    While Bollinger is a welcome inclusion in the side, what is worrying is the bowling form of Albie Morkel and Gony/Joginder/Tyagi/Balaji. Stronger sides are likely to take full toll and will hope to get 80 runs or more from these 8 overs. He does not seem too confident about Ganapathy which is clear because he bowled only 1 over in the match against RCB and was dropped for the match against RR. This is surprising because he can contribute with the bat unlike Gony/Joginder/Tyagi/Balaji. It is time for Dhoni to repose confidence in Ganapathy over Gony/Joginder/Tyagi/Balaji.

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