India’s young and a bit experienced young spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav had their task cut out in the first One-Day International against South Africa on Thursday (February 1).
It was their first outing in the African country with the senior team and with South Africa placed comfortably at 83 for one, the spinners needed someone to guide them.
Well, they did not have to look far for the mentor on the field, as former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the onus on himself to guide the young spinners from behind the stumps.
In the past, the veteran keeper-batsman constantly advised the bowlers from behind the wickets, helping them to excel and once again donned the guide’s hat for Chahal and Kuldeep.
On Thursday, India’s most experienced campaigner once again showed his skills about reading a batsman’s mind, as he kept directing the bowlers to bowl in respective areas from behind the stumps. He was caught giving instructions to the bowlers now and then by the stump mic, and Kuldeep Yadav later confirmed it.
“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. 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,” PTI quoted Yadav saying.
Dhoni’s instructions paid off, as the two spinners spun a web around the hosts to restrict them to 269 for eight. Kuldeep finished with excellent figures of three for 35 while Chahal picked up two for 45. In reply, India rode on Virat Kohli’s century and Ajinkya Rahane’s 79 to chase down the total in 46 overs. Kuldeep also said being led by not one but by two ‘legends’ is helpful.
“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 per cent of your work because he has played so much cricket, he reads the batsmen easily,” the spinner said at the post-match press conference.
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