‘Legend MS Dhoni Eases 50 Percent of My Work,’ Says Kuldeep Yadav
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has credited MS Dhoni for his success in his first outing on South African soil, saying the former skipper eased 50 percent of his workload by giving useful advice from behind the stumps.
Yadav and his fellow spinner Yuzvendra Chahal shared five wickets between them to restrict South Africa to 269 for eight, a target which India overwhelmed with six wickets in hand to take a 1-0 lead in the six-match ODI series in Durban on 1 February.
Yadav finished with three for 34 in 10 overs and was easily the pick of the India bowlers. He bamboozled the South African batsmen with his craft and removed JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris to star in the win.
"We are youngsters, and we don't have that much experience. That is why he (Dhoni) keeps telling me what to do in what situation. And the mindset comes from the captain.
Virat bhai always tells us one extra wicket is more important than trying to save 10 runs. If your captain tells you that, then you start believing in yourself," he added.
Yadav and fellow leg-spinner Chahal have been at the heart of India's sensational ODI run since 2017's Champions Trophy. India have lost just four of the 21 matches they have played since the mini World Cup in England.
"Obviously, there is a lot of understanding between us. We now have been bowling for five years together. We were together at Mumbai Indians as well. So there is a mutual understanding between us," Yadav said about his pairing with Chahal.
"Even when he (Chahal) bowls first in the match, we talk how the wicket is behaving, and whether it is turning or not, whether it is drifting, and how the wind is playing out. So communication is very important, and it is very good between us," he said.
Asked about the challenges of playing in overseas conditions for the first time, Yadav said, "It doesn't matter where you are playing. Since childhood, I have bowled on cement wickets. So that was tough wicket for me. Here the ball was turning, so it helped me.
"Whether you are playing in India or South Africa, it doesn't matter to me. In my head the only thing is taking wickets for the team, and this is Chahal's plan as well when we are bowling as a pair."
Talking further about his strengths and weaknesses, the young spinner said, "Some times you are under pressure, like at the start or your first over. For me, I was nervous too, because it was my first game in South Africa, but slowly, I got into the rhythm and then you start playing with the batsmen" Yadav said.
(With inputs from PTI.)