After impressing one and all with his spectacular showing in India’s last home season, left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav started the ODI series against South Africa with a remarkable bowling performance. The 23-year-old scalped 3 for 34 as India registered a comprehensive 6-wicket victory in the ODI series opener at Kingsmead, Durban on Thursday (February 1).
Addressing the press conference after the match, Kuldeep credited India’s legendary wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his success in his maiden ODI in the rainbow nation. He elaborated the way Dhoni made the job easy for him with his valuable advices.
"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," quoted Kuldeep in the post-match media conference.
The wrist-spinner got rid of JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris at the crucial juncture of the game to put the Men in Blue on top. It was India’s first victory in Durban against the Proteas in 4 attempts.
"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," Kuldeep said.
"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,” he further explained.
The Kanpur born spinner also hailed his skipper Virat Kohli for showing faith in his abilities.
"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," Kuldeep concluded.
Watch the video below:
India chased down South Africa’s total of 270 in 45.3 overs with skipper Virat Kohli scoring his 33rd ODI century and Rahane playing a crucial 78-run innings.
(With PTI inputs)