Bowling at MS Dhoni possibly the best finisher in modern day cricket is always an arduous task especially when it’s during the death overs. Over the years Dhoni has made a reputation for himself, of finishing off matches and taking his team over the line on numerous occasions of a tensed last over scenario. It is because of destructive batsmen like Dhoni that the crucial end overs are called ‘death overs’. And it was no different on April 22 when MS Dhoni hit 15 runs of the last over to take his side through.
On the other end of things was Siddharth Kaul, the pacer has been a key part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad set up this season. Prior to this match Kaul had successfully defended narrow last over scores in two matches taking his side to victory. Kaul has gelled well and has been weaving a great partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar especially at the death for Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, what surprised the pacer at the end of the match on Saturday was an encouraging gesture from the ex Indian skipper MS Dhoni who walked upto him and praised him. Siddharth Kaul revealed what the captain had to say about his bowling, About David Warner’s confidence in him and much more in an interview with the Hindustan Time’s. Here is what Kaul had to say;
About bowling to MS Dhoni in the death overs
It is very challenging to bowl at Mahi bhai when he is in blazing form. I tried different variations and changed the field placements, but he just went after the bowlers and snatched the match from us.
Words of encouragement from the legendary MS Dhoni
Dhoni approached Kaul after the match and said, “Acha ball kar raha hai tu. Pace bhi bhadd gaya hai tera aur yorkers bhi ache jaa rahe hain. Aise hee sharp ball rakh.” (You have been bowling well. The pace has increased and your yorkers are also accurate. Keep bowling sharply like this).
David Warner’s confidence in Kaul
Warner knows me since we played together for Delhi Daredevils. Yuvi paaji has seen me bowl for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy in the last three-four years. So, he has best idea about my capabilities. In fact, he has been pushing me to go out there and bowl to my strength. There are far more established bowlers in the team, still they have shown faith in me by giving the last over, that too in a T20 format.
About mental toughness
The mental toughness has helped me execute my skills, especially in the crunch situations. There have been injuries and selection disappointments which reflect in your performance. To let go of such mental blocks, I took to mental conditioning.
Siddharth Kaul had been a part of the victorious under-19 side, which won the worldcup in Malaysia under the leadership of Virat Kohli. The team also consisted of Ravindra Jadeja and Manish Pandey who went on to represent India at the international level.