A batsman dreads pace but it's the movement and variation that are his worst nightmare.
Opening the bowling for Chennai against Punjab at the Wankhede, Deepak Chahar unleashed a bag of tricks in his four-over spell.
When he was done, his figures read 4-1-13-4.
Dhoni was chuffed.
The Punjab Kings were on their knees.
The dreaded out-swinger
The typical Indian batsman loves anything angled onto his leg.
The run-of-the-mill shot sees them wait for the ball to dart onto their pads and then the writs take over.
With timing, the flick sends the ball along the carpet between mid-on and square-leg to the fence.
And that was precisely what Mayank Agarwal intended to do the moment the ball left Chahar's hands.
Angled towards middle and leg at the point of release, it appeared as if the batsman was in business.
But Chahar had intended the ball to leave the right-hander.
As if obeying its master, the ball swung away, beat the batsman and made a mess of the off-stump.
Agarwal was squared up and with the furniture wrecked behind him, all he could do was look up at Chahar in disbelief.
Bring on the variations
If there's one common element in bowling that we've seen so far in IPL 2021, it's the variations that have been employed.
More often than not, it's the off-cutter that we have seen from a pacer.
Chahar, however, has a special silver bullet in his holster – the knuckleball.
Gayle had struck two boundaries and appeared to be Punjab's saviour for the night.
But Chahar had plans for him – the knuckleball bowled full on off stump.
The delivery set Gayle up for the drive and he was in position in a flash. There was just one problem though, the ball's arrival was delayed.
Committed to the stroke, all that the West Indian could do was check his drive and lob the slower-ball to point.
It takes two to tango and Ravindra Jadeja's Jhonty-isque effort ensued that Chahar was celebrating yet again.
Short and sweet
Teams and bowlers do their homework coming into a game.
The moment Nicholas Pooran walked out to bat, it was almost as if Chahar knew what to do.
He greeted the West Indian right away with a quick bouncer.
An impulsive hooker, Pooran took the bait.
Shardul Thakur was waiting at wide fine-leg and he pocketed this one with ease.
Like a cat amongst the pigeons, Chahar was terrorising the Punjab batsmen.
And more often than not, when a bowler is on a roll, batsmen tend to play into their hands.
A confident Hooda, playing a shot-a-ball, did just that.
This time, it was a seam up delivery from Chahar that drew a miss-timed on-the-rise drive from Hooda.
Faf du Plessis ensured that Chahar had his fourth of the night.
The right areas and planning
"I think it was more seam than swing and we bowled in the right areas," said Chahar, at the innings break.
"We planned, prepared well for the game today, had to do a lot of planning because the first two games here were high-scoring. We got some time to prepare and things went our way as we executed well," he added.
Chahar had tested positive for COVID last year on arrival at the UAE and had to miss the bulk of games for Chennai.
This time, however, he appears to be in the zone and ever ready to pull a rabbit out of the hat at will.