India's left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav said playing alongside with India's former skipper MS Dhoni is a matter of pride.
Kuldeep is doing exceptionally well for India in recent times. The spinner has made things easy for Indian skipper Virat Kohli, and Indian team is looking him as a long-term asset.
Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal, the spinning duo got support from Dhoni from behind the stumps. A slight mistake in their delivery has been followed by words from Dhoni to correct what shouldn't be done.
Kuldeep said Dhoni always helped him decode the mindset of the batsmen and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
"Mahi bhai is a legend. He has played over 300 ODIs for India and he has given so much to the team. It's a matter of pride for us that we play with him. He motivates us so much from behind the stumps. He looks after everything and you need someone, who guides you all the time.
"He never speaks about my skills but always helps and talks about the mindset of the batsman, his strength, mindset and weaknesses. He also talks to me at nets. It's good that we have two legends playing in the team." Kuldeep told India Today.
The other legend Kuldeep was referring to was Virat. No doubt the Indian skipper has shown so much faith in the emerging spinners of India. Kuldeep credits Kohli's ability to motivate the younger players to India's sensational run across formats in recent years.
"You learn after seeing someone like Virat. He wants that the team to play like a unit and fight hard. If you look at our team for the past two to three years, we are doing that and India's style has changed and the whole credit goes to Virat Kohli. The way he motivates the team and talks to the youngsters...that is very important.
"I've played all my matches under Kohli and he has supported me a lot. Although I made my debut in Tests in his absence, he would come out with drinks and explain things. It feels good if your captain shows belief in you. If your captain believes in you, your work becomes a lot easier," he said.
Kuldeep said he had worked hard at his skills before the challenging tour of South Africa. "I prepared a lot before the South Africa series and I even met Gauti bhai (Gautam Gambhir) before going there. He said the wickets over there in South Africa are fast and you have to vary your pace. (Narendra) Hirwani sir at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) also told me the same thing. I made some changes as well in the seven to eight days after I got there. Everybody has a part to play in my performance," Kuldeep said. "My aim was to get a minimum of 15 wickets if I played all the matches there and I got 17 wickets. I'm happy about that."