‘He was very good in field-setting’ - Kuldeep Yadav on where he misses MS Dhoni the most

Back in 2017, Kuldeep picked up his maiden ODI hat-trick against Australia with Dhoni as the keeper.

MS Dhoni and Kuldeep Yadav
MS Dhoni and Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Kuldeep Yadav, the Indian chinaman bowler, has revealed that he has felt MS Dhoni’s absence from the national team. Along with Yuzvendra Chahal, the 25-year-old Kuldeep has been a consistent performer in the spin department. In fact, in 60 ODIs, the left-armer already has a couple of hat-tricks, one of which in 2017 at the Eden Gardens when Dhoni was behind the stumps.

The other hat-trick came in 2019 against the West Indies. Though he has weaved magic with the ball, Kuldeep has told that he wasn’t good at reading the pitch and hence doesn’t have a proper game-plan, depending on the nature of the pitch. About Dhoni, the tweaker said that the veteran could foresee the intentions of a batsman and accordingly passed on his suggestions.

I didn’t pay much attention to field-setting: Kuldeep Yadav

“When I started my career, I wasn’t good at reading the pitch. I never actually thought about the wicket. So, I didn’t plan on how to bowl if it was a spinning track, or had some grass on it,” Kuldeep was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.

“I learned about this aspect after I started playing with Mahi bhai. He would often tell me when I needed to spin the ball or where I needed to pitch it or when I need to bowl a fast one. I never felt that I was missing my coach, who used to keep pushing me to spin the ball more,” he stated.

“I didn’t pay much attention to field-setting as well because Mahi bhai was very good at it. That’s why I never paid attention to field placement when I bowled with him keeping the wicket. He understood where the batsman could try to hit me, and set the field accordingly,” Kuldeep added.

The Uttar Pradesh-born Kuldeep last played alongside Dhoni in the 2019 edition of the World Cup in England and Wales. In the mega event, he picked six wickets and also cleaned up the talented Babar Azam during India’s match against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in Manchester. Overall, he has 24, 104 and 39 wickets in six Tests, 60 ODIs and 21 T20Is respectively.