Kuldeep Yadav shed light on what MS Dhoni had told him before he bowled the hat-trick ball during India's 50-run win over Australia in the second of the five-match ODI series at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, September 21.
The 22-year-old went on to pick up his second international hat-trick and first in senior-level cricket when he sent three Australian batsmen -- Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins -- back to the pavilion of successive deliveries in the 33rd over of the visitors' unsuccessful chase of 253.
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Having lost skipper Steve Smith for 59, Australia were banking on wicketkeeper-batsman Wade and Marcus Stoinis to prevent India from taking a 2-0 lead in the series. However, Kuldeep struck a massive blow when Wade dragged one onto the stumps.
In the following delivery, Agar was trapped in front after being deceived by flight. Cummins walked in next and Kohli immediately brought in quite a few of his fielders inside the ring, anticipating a special one from the young wrist-spinner.
Wise words from Dhoni
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Kuldeep foxed Cummins with a delightful wrong'un that pitched on good length and kissed the latter's bat before Dhoni came up with a brilliant catch to help the former complete the hat-trick.
Watch the hat-trick ball
Kuldeep revealed he had asked Dhoni what to bowl before the momentous hat-trick ball and that the former captain just wanted him to bowl as per his own plans.
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"I asked Dhoni what I should bowl and he said 'tujhe jaisa lagta hai wo daal [bowl what you want]'.. I was very happy that he backed my strength. Thanks to both Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Both of them have been supporting me a lot," Kuldeep, who had picked up his first international hat-trick at the 2014 U-19 World Cup, said on Thursday.
He added: "I could never dream of it [hat-trick]. Initially I was struggling to bowl in a particular area. It's a game of cricket, everything happens. Last match, where I was hit for three sixes in an over, was a learning experience."
The Indian bowlers made sure their skipper, Kohli's valiant 92 on a two-paced wicket did not go in vain. With the new ball Bhuvneshwar Kumar was unplayable as he removed both the Australian openers -- David Warner and Hilton Cartwright -- cheaply.
Kohli elated with his spinners
Spinners Kuldeep and Chahal picked up five wickets between them for the second time in the series as Marcus Stoinis' valiant 62 with the tail proved futile.
Eventually, Kohli was a happy man at the post-match presentation ceremony as the young spinners in Kuldeep and Chahal had justified the selectors' decision of giving an extended rest to premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the all-important series against Smith's men.
"Two young spinners bowling with a lot of heart, speaks volumes about their characters. Really augurs well for us how the team is shaping up," the Indian captain said.