WATCH: When mastermind MS Dhoni helped Kuldeep Yadav plot Trent Boult’s dismissal
Apart from the safe catching and lightening quick stumpings, MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping in India colours was also about his smart pieces of advice to bowlers, which often produced fruitful results. The former India captain was especially at his best against the spinners, and continues doing so for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, helping his bowlers plot key dismissals.
One such instance occurred in the first game of their tour to New Zealand in early 2019, the opener of the five-match ODI series in Napier.
India dominated the game right from the start, with the hosts never being allowed to settle after having opted to bat. Mohammed Shami removed openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro within his first two overs, and later dismissed Mitchell Santner in a spell of 3/19, which helped him become the fastest Indian bowler to 100 ODI wickets.
Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav ran through the middle-order comprising Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls, with only Williamson managing a half-century.
Kuldeep, who had dismissed Williamson, Doug Bracewell and Lockie Ferguson earlier in his spell, was up against the last-wicket pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult in the 38th over of the innings. Southee took a single off the fifth ball, leaving No.11 Boult with one ball to see off.
As Kuldeep went near his mark to deliver the final ball of his spell, Dhoni was heard as saying from the stump mic: "Yeh aankh band karke rokega. Dusra waala daal sakta hai isko (He is defending with his eyes closed. Can bowl him a wrong one)," while also instructing the bowler to switch to round the wicket.
Kuldeep followed the instructions, and Boult, on cue, went for a forward defence, only to find an edge through to Rohit Sharma in the lone slip. Dhoni would gesture pointing towards the bowler, as the plan came off.
Watch MS Dhoni helping Kuldeep Yadav plot Trent Boult’s dismissal here:
India would eventually overhaul the target with eight wickets and 15.1 overs remaining, with Shikhar Dhawan (75*) and Virat Kohli (45) being the chief contributors.
"Sometimes I miss that guidance because he (Dhoni) has great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming! We miss his experience," Kuldeep had said in an interview with The Indian Express last year.