Kuldeep Yadav hails mentor Dhoni

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with Yuzvendra Chahal after the wicket of JP Duminy during the 1st ODI at Kingsmead on Thursday | BCCI

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with Yuzvendra Chahal after the wicket of JP Duminy during the 1st ODI at Kingsmead on Thursday | BCCI

Wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav shared eight wickets to embarrass South Africa and put India on course for a 2-0 lead in the six-game series. He bamboozled the South African batsmen with his craft and removed JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris to star in the win. It's also handsome to learn that Kuldeep Yadav respects Mahi and Virat Kohli a lot for making things comfortable for the youngsters.

Kuldeep Yadav's first over in South Africa on Thursday was quite unlike a first-timer's despite the nerves that came along with the new experience. So I asked Mahi bhai (Dhoni) and he told me, "bowl as you are bowling". The wind was good and the ball was drifting and I could not make up my mind on what variation to use. "As a spinner, Mahi bhai does 50 per cent of your work because he has played so much cricket, he reads the batsmen easily", he said. We didn't let SA get too much up front. That is why he (Dhoni) keeps telling me what to do in a particular situation.

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The 23-year-old didn't miss to credit his captain for the motivation, mindset and believe he holds in his young players. "If your captain tells you that, then you start believing in yourself", Yadav concluded. Of late, Yadav and Chahal have become a lethal spin combination in world cricket and the former says they complement each other brilliantly while bowling together.

Kuldeep and Chahal then combined to remove the rest of the specialist batsmen, with Quinton de Kock (20) hitting a pull off Chahal straight to Hardik Pandya at midwicket to start a run of three wickets for no runs. We understood fast bowling was going to be a big factor in this tour. We were together at the Mumbai Indians as well.

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We hope Mahi keeps encouraging youngsters like this and these young talents feel empowered as long as Dhoni stands behind the stumps. Picking up one or two wickets in the first ten overs is what we wanted to do. "The level where we play, communication is very important and thankfully we do communicate well", Kuldeep added.

About the challenge of bowling in overseas conditions, Kuldeep said: "It doesn't matter where you are playing". "I thought the Indian spinners bowled well but still we should have been better today against them". So that was tough wicket for me. His partner, leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, also on his first global tour to South Africa, did quite the same thing.

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