New Delhi, Nov 13: Young India spinner Kuldeep Yadav feels he's very lucky to have veteran cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps in the limited-overs' format.
The young Chinaman spinner, who became only the third in India's ODI history to take a hattrick, praised the veteran wicket-keeper for his astute cricketing sense.
While he also spoke highly of Wriddhiman Saha, India's glovesman in Tests, as the Bengal stumper too helps him a lot with his little inputs but MS Dhoni is a different person altogether.
"Saha is just as good. He keeps guiding you with little inputs. But obviously, Dhoni is in a class of his own. With him, you just need to do 40 percent of the job. The rest of the 60 percent he does it for you. He is so good that he can read the batsman's mind even before you bowl. While people love comparisons, I would say they are both very calm and that makes the job of the bowler easier," the Kanpur-based cricketer was quoted by CricketNext as saying.
The 22-year-old spinner also downplayed his comparisons with senior pros Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Kuldeep said he's learning from the two senior players who are like elder brothers to him as they help him get better.
"I have no idea where this comparison comes from. Yes, Chahal and I have done decently in the limited-overs format, but that does not mean we are competing with Ashwin and Jadeja. Just look at their numbers and what they have done. We are just starting out and for me, I look up to them for guidance. In fact, they keep telling me how to go about doing my job in different match situations. Let us get this straight that they are not competition at all," he said.
Kuldeep might have become a permanent member of the limited-overs format as Ashwin and Jadeja do not seem to be fitting in the shorter formats but the Chinaman is yet to cement his position in the Test side. Both Ashwin and Jadeja would be skipper Virat Kohli's first choice spinners in the longer format.
Praising his inspirational skipper, Kuldeep said the current Indian team compliments him well.
"We have often heard that while the captain gets the applause and the brickbats after a performance, he can only be as good as his team. But, the same holds true the other way round. Sometimes, the team is as good as the captain and ours is a prime example. We have a role model in Kohli and we try and work just as hard as him. He raises the bar and we try to follow that. Then comes the support. With Kohli, you will never have negativity. He will find you a positive out of any situation and help you learn.
"The best part is that he never stops you from experimenting and learning new things. He wants you to in fact keep evolving and getting better. And when you know the captain has your back, you need no second invitation to go out and express yourself. To be honest, every moment in this team is like spending time with your own people - family," he added further.