New Delhi, July 16 : India wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has heaped praise on MS Dhoni, saying the veteran wicketkeeper batsman has helped him and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav get better at their craft.
"Mahi bhai is one the best and greatest players India has produced. He has helped me and Kuldeep during matches. Sometimes, a batsman hits me for boundaries and then he (Dhoni) 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 work well in the team's favour," Chahal told timesofindia.com.
"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," recalled Chahal.
"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," the 29-year-old said, giving an example.
Dhoni, who recently turned 39, has been on a sabbatical ever since the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where India lost to New Zealand.
It's been more than an year that he has been away from the cricket field, yet conversations about his return or future retirement have never died out in the time since and he still remains one of the most talked about cricketers in the present era.