Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji has credited West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo's superb run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years to his temperament in the death overs, saying that the 38-year-old keeps "rediscovering a lot of old deliveries", which makes him so potent.
CSK all-rounder Bravo became the highest-ever wicket taker in IPL history, going past Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga's tally of 170 wickets during his team's six-wicket loss to Lucknow Super Giants at Brabourne on March 31. Bravo returned figures of 1/35 in his four overs.
"Bravo's temperament is something which I really admire. The way he has conducted over time at crucial junctures and he is able to come out on top. As a bowler it's not easy. We've seen the best of best like (Lasith) Malinga in the past. What Bravo has created is something phenomenal in the bowling department especially death bowling," opined former India pacer Balaji.
"He is someone who keeps on rediscovering a lot of deliveries. The sinking ball is something which he introduced a couple of years back; that's a trendsetter now. All these things make Bravo -- apart from his batting and extraordinary fielding."
Balaji felt that the West Indian had developed several qualities over the years, and the maturity showed in his all-round performance.
"I think the longevity of what Bravo has created. I remember when he was nothing when he was first picked. From there he has developed everything as a combined cricketer as well as a leader. As a person, maturing is very important. In CSK he has matured as a leader and go-to person. That's one thing I want all youngsters to pick. His belief and continuity and never say die attitude is phenomenal."
Another aspect Balaji thought made Bravo stand out was his calm demeanour even in the toughest of situations.
"His ability to remain calm. Normally what we think from the outside is that the bowler is very relaxed. No! He's a very good thinker of the game. He constructs every ball irrespective of the pressure and situation, whether it is going in favour of the batsman or the opposition. It doesn't matter to him. He always has that one step ahead when it comes to field set up and the delivery matching to that field set up. I really like the way he has handled death bowling.
"He's always energy oriented. He is someone who has a lot of energy and brings it to the dressing room. The one who likes to be solid when it comes to song writing, script writing, whatever! The way he has introduced energy into the modern day cricket -- he is a complete entertainer and a very nice human being," added Balaji.
Balaji also appreciated Bravo's ability not to complicate things in pressure-cooker situations.
"Bravo's approach is to keep things simple. One more thing is he's psychologically well built for tough situations - he looks forward to those situations. If you want to be a last over specialist or the hands-up kind of guy, Bravo has done it over a period of time."