Scoring a scintillating hundred during India’s emphatic 95-run victory against Bangladesh in their final warm-up game ahead of the 2019 World Cup on Tuesday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed why his performances with the bat may hold key to India’s bid for a third World Cup title.
Though the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman may not be leading the side anymore, his inputs still remain valuable as ever before. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has vouched for Dhoni’s impact as a thinker in the team.
“Whenever I am in doubt, I rush to Mahi bhai. He has got an abundance of experience. Not just me, it helps all the members in the team,” Chahal was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The Haryana leg-spinner, making his first appearance at the World Cup, also revealed how Dhoni’s sharp reading of the game from behind the stumps makes the job easy for him as a bowler.
“Ball kidhar daalna hai [where to bowl], Mahi bhai knows. He is a mix of a bowler, wicket-keeper, batsman and a fielder,” Chahal said.
“He can read a batsman’s footwork closely and then, after a couple of deliveries, he tells us where exactly to bowl. And it really works for me.
“As a bowler, sometimes you have a tough day and sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you get hit for sixes. It happens to me as well. But his [Dhoni] advice at that moment helps in those situations. It helps in controlling the flow of runs and getting a breakthrough,” Chahal said.
Kuldeep’s form a major boost
Immensely relieved to see Kuldeep Yadav regaining some form before World Cup, Chahal said it was good news for India, who are set to open their campaign against South Africa on June 5.
Spinner Kuldeep was not at his best but he returned a three-wicket haul against Bangladesh, foxing the ‘Tigers’ on numerous occasions.
It was after a depressing Indian Premier League season, where he struggled to get wickets and was also dropped by his side Kolkata Knight Riders.
“I am so happy the way Kuldeep made a comeback and showed the confidence and it is a good for the team ahead of the World Cup,” said Chahal.
“We trust each other. We know each other for the last 7-8 years and we have a good bonding on and off the field. If I bowl first then I talk to him about how the wicket is behaving and he talks to me if he is bowling first.
“Before a match, we always plan, like if can bowl more googlies or sliders to a particular batsman,” he added.
(with PTI inputs)
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