The presence of MS Dhoni behind the stumps has helped the Indian spinners immensely over the years. On many occasions, India's chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav has revealed how Dhoni's advices from behind the wicket helped him achieve breakthroughs in many matches.
Now, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has also talked about Dhoni's understanding of the game in great detail. He said that Dhoni often offers advice to him and Kuldeep during the game and they work in their favour almost every time.
"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 work well in the team’s favour,” Chahal told timesofindia.com.
Chahal also recalled two matches where Dhoni's tips helped India get key wickets in the game. Chahal first mentioned a limited-overs match against South Africa.
“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)," said the spinner.
"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.
He then recalled a match against New Zealand, where Tom Latham was hitting Chahal with relative ease. Again, it was MS Dhoni's advice which eventually earned Chahal the prized wicket.
“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,” said Chahal.
Dhoni had been an integral part of the side until the 2019 World Cup. However, he is yet to make an appearance for the Indian team for over a year now.