Recently, the 29-year-old Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal opened up the importance of the veteran wicket-keeper MS Dhoni for the young bowlers.
The former Indian World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni is famous for his cool and calmness in every situation of the game. When the team struggles on the field, Dhoni comes to guide his teammates, and it works for the team most of the times.
Yuzvendra Chahal has recently claimed that Dhoni is one of the greatest cricketers India has produced. The leg-spinner also admitted that Dhoni helped him and the left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav, a lot of during the matches. When they struggled, Dhoni provided crucial guidances which helped them to return to the game quickly.
Chahal told TOI, “Mahi bhai is one the best and greatest players India has produced. He has helped me and Kuldeep during matches. Some times, a batsman hits me for boundaries and then he comes, puts his hands around my shoulder and says ‘isko googly daal, ye nahi khel payega’ (Bowl him a googly, he will not be able to play). Tips from him really works well in the team’s favour.”
Talking about that, Chahal revealed one story in his limited-overs career. While Chahal claimed his first five-wicket haul in ODI career during the 2018 Centurion ODI against the hosts South Africa (5/22), Dhoni massively helped him to dismiss the set batsman JP Duminy.
Chahal added, “This has happened so many times. In South Africa, when I took my first five-for. JP Duminy was batting at that time. I wanted to dismiss him. Mahi bhai came to me and said ‘isko seedha stump to stump daal’ (Just bowl straight to him – stump to stump). He went back behind the stumps and shouted again – ’tilli, isko dande pe hi rakhna’ (Just bowl straight to him). I followed his instructions. Duminy tried to sweep but got out lbw.”
Chahal shared another similar story when he was disappointed to bowl against the New Zealand batsman Tom Latham during India tour of New Zealand in 2019.
The leg-spinner continued, “In New Zealand, Tom Latham was batting and was continuously playing sweep shots. I tried googlies and leg spins but those didn’t work out against him. He was hitting me for boundaries. I was really disappointed. Mahi bhai came to me and said ‘line change mat karna, isko aage daal aur stumps pe rakhna’ (Don’t change your line. Pitch the ball up to him and keep it on the stumps) . Latham was out off the very next ball. I hugged Mahi bhai after that dismissal.”
MS Dhoni is a problem solver for Kuldeep and me: Yuzvendra Chahal
As the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is one of the best fielders of the side, he generally moves at the boundary in the death overs. So, Chahal feels that Dhoni’s presence is very important for him and Kuldeep in the death overs in limited-overs cricket. The leg-spinner even called Dhoni as a problem solver for them.
Chahal quoted, “After 40 overs, Virat bhaiya fields at the boundary and you need someone to teach you and guide you. Sometimes, I look at Mahi bhai and he gets to know from my body language that I want to ask something or have some confusion. He comes to me and resolves those issues. 50 percent of the problem he solves before I come on to bowl. The same happens with Kuldeep too. He (Dhoni) is a problem solver for Kuldeep and I.”
Though Chahal respects Dhoni’s decision, the leg-spinner feels that the experienced wicket-keeper is still important for the Indian team.
He claimed, “I believe there is so much of cricket still left in Mahi bhai. His comeback will be good for us. But that’s his decision.”
MS Dhoni last time played a recognised cricket match on 10th July 2019 during the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against New Zealand. Since then, Dhoni has made himself unavailable continuously for the national team selection.
Though Dhoni was ready to return to the game during the IPL 2020, which was originally scheduled between 29th March and 24th May 2020, his return on the cricket field has been delayed due to the postponement of the tournament.