Indian wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has yet again heaped praise on MS Dhoni for being a mentor to him both in the team and even on the cricket field, saying the presence of the legendary cricketer and former captain never made him feel the absence of his coach Kapil Pandey.
Even though Dhoni is no longer the captain of the Indian team, but the talismanic cricketer has been a great guiding force for a lot of youngsters including the likes of Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal apart from helping captain Virat Kohli in setting up fields and taking crucial decisions on the field.
The 25-year-old said Dhoni was always there as a mentor for him, guiding the chinaman bowler ball by ball and even set the field for him to allow him to concentrate fully on his bowling during the course of the matches, saying the legendary wicketkeeper batsman's presence is always crucial for the team.
Kuldeep Yadav told NDTV: “Whenever I played with Dhoni, I never felt the absence of my coach because he would speak to me like one and give me a lot of advice. He would always tell me to focus on spinning the ball, and from behind the wickets he would release a lot of pressure.”
He further added, “Sometimes you are only focused on bowling and not the fielding, so he would set the field from behind the stumps. He would tell you the little things about what to do in the game before the match.
As a senior player, he has supported me and (Yuzvendra) Chahal a lot and handled us very well. The captain (Virat Kohli) was always there for us but his presence was also very crucial.”
Noteworthy, Kuldeep has so far played 6 Tests, 60 ODIs, and 21 T20Is, picking up 24, 104, and 39 wickets in the three formats respectively for India.
(With NDTV Inputs)