'Kohli could've been captain but who were they listening to? Dhoni': Karthik explains decline in Team India duo's form
- Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, who has shared the dressing room with both players during his time in the Indian team, threw light on the duo's decline in performances.
Post the 2017 Champions Trophy, the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal became regular faces in the Indian XI. The duo wreaked havoc on opposition batting attacks for the next two years; however, post the World Cup in 2019, both players suffered a decline in their performance with Kuldeep Yadav slowly losing his place in XI across all formats over the next year. Chahal, too, was dropped from the T20 World Cup side last year but regained his place in the squad in India's following series against New Zealand.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, who has shared the dressing room with both players during his time in the Indian team, threw light on the duo's decline in performances. In a discussion during a pre-match show for the third and final ODI between India and South Africa, Karthik said that the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a major role in the duo's decline.
“100 percent. I think that the advent of their bowling has dipped because somebody like MS Dhoni is not there, for sure,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
“Because I've seen how much he helped them. They don't need help when the going gets good or they're bowling and getting beaten, or when they don't know which way the bowl will turn. But when somebody hits a slog-sweep or just plays the reverse-sweep, then you have the wise words of wisdom coming from a man who has so much experience and they love him so much. They worth the weight (of Dhoni's words) in gold. They completely trust him.”
Karthik further said that Virat Kohli might have been the captain of the side in a majority of games involving both Chahal and Kuldeep, but the spin-duo was “listening” to Dhoni.
“Virat Kohli could've been the captain in many of those matches, but who were they listening to? If I'm honest, definitely MS Dhoni. What field to set, what line to bowl, what must the batsman be thinking.. these are the three questions that keep revolving in their minds. For all three questions, the man to give the best answer is without doubt the keeper, which happens to be MS Dhoni. And he really guided them well,” said Karthik.
“I'm telling you. You take a look at how well the spinners have done in CSK. There must be a reason, right? The same Jadeja, when he bowls in international cricket, struggles at various times in white-ball cricket but when he goes back to CSK, he is used in such a way that it gets the best out of the bowler. Mitchell Santner is done well for CSK, Imran Tahir.. he was a match-winner for them.”