There have been several on-field incidents where MS Dhoni was seen plotting script for getting a batsmen out off spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s delivery. There have also been moments when Dhoni blasted off the Chinaman for not paying heed to his advice. Revealing how instrumental Dhoni has been in his career, Kuldeep told Deep Dasgupta on ESPNcricinro that he misses the Captain Cool behind the stumps.
Recalling the period under Dhoni, the Chinaman said that he wasn’t used to reading the pitch before starting his international career. “When I started my career, I wasn’t good at reading the pitch,” he said. “I never actually thought about the wicket. So I didn’t plan on how to bowl if it was a spinning track, or had some grass on it.
“I learned about this aspect after I started playing with Mahi bhai. He would often tell me when I needed to spin the ball or where I needed to pitch it or when I need to bowl a fast one. I never felt that I was missing my coach, who used to keep pushing me to spin the ball more.
MS Dhoni has not returned to the cricket field for India since the World Cup 2019 and with Covid-19 pandemic, the wait has indefinitely extended now.“ It helped me bowl with more confidence. This is something I learnt from him and I have really felt his absence from the ODI team.”
Kuldeep also admitted that he did not pay much attention to the field setting during his own spells because Dhoni was there to do the job. “That’s why I never paid attention to field placement when I bowled with him keeping the wicket. He understood where the batsman could try to hit me and set the field accordingly.”
The India spinner also shared a unique characteristic of his current skipper Virat Kohli. “This is a very good thing about Virat Bhai that if he has a suggestion and wants me to change something, he’ll always listen to what I have to say about it as well. So if I tell him, ‘No Virat Bhai, I think this is better, let’s try it for another couple of deliveries,’ he would agree to it. He generally leaves it to the bowler, and doesn’t force unnecessary changes,” he said.
Kuldeep, who made his debut in all three formats of the game in 2017, has got ample chances in ODIs and T20Is. The left-arm wrist spinner has also managed to play six Tests for India so far.
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