After losing the test series by 2-1 to South Africa, India kick started the 6-match One Day Internationals by thrashing the hosting team in the opening match and taking a 1-0 lead in the series. In the process of chasing the 270-run target, skipper Virat Kohli smashed a gob-smacking ton.
While the entire nation showered Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane with praises for their 189-run partnership, team’s strong bowling line-up contributed equally to the marvellous victory. Despite the star pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s shaky start, Kuldeep Yadav commendable wickets can’t be ignored.
The unorthodox spinner, who made his international debut last year credits the former captain MS Dhoni’s advice for his marvelous three-wicket haul in his first South African outing. The wicketkeeper reportedly eased half of Yadav’s worries with his useful suggestions.
“Actually I was confused a bit what I should bowl because I am playing in South Africa for the first time and it was a new experience for me. The wind was good and the ball was drifting so I was confused what to bowl, and which variation to use,” Yadav explained his confusion.
The spinner who bowled JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris added, “So I was asking Mahi bhai (Dhoni) and he told me ‘bowl as you are bowling’. It is good that he keeps advising from behind the wickets, it gets easier.”
MS Dhoni has guided the teammates by sharing his experiences on various occasions, one reason which contributed to his successful captaincy. Now that Virat Kohli has taken over as Indian skipper, both the legends guide the young players individually and collectively.
Yadav admitted, “When you have two legends, Virat (Kohli) and Mahi, one is leading the team and the other has led the team, it is helpful. As a spinner, Mahi bhai does 50 percent of your work because he has played so much cricket, he reads the batsmen easily.”
The 23-year-old didn’t miss to credit his captain for the motivation, mindset and believe he holds in his young players. “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,” Yadav concluded.