Touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, 22-year-old Kuldeep Yadav has certainly been living up to his reputation ever since he graduated from the u-19 levels to the international stage. After making a memorable Test debut against Australia last month, the chinaman has carried on his good run of form in this edition of the IPL. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
Speaking exclusively to indianexpress.com, Kuldeep revealed his mindset going to in each game, why he backs his chinaman delivery and how he isn’t concerned about the pressures of international cricket.
“It been 5 years that I have been playing in the IPL. There is a lot of pressure to perform in each match but I am not concerned about it. I always back my strengths which is my chinaman delivery. I have a few variations up my arsenal and they have helped my bowling. They are useful when the batsman tends to attack but when I am under pressure I always back my chinaman delivery to get me wickets because it is my biggest strength.”
Kuldeep is now a consistent performer in the T20s but bowling in this format is anything but easy. ” You can’t afford to flight the ball too much in T20 cricket as you can get hit. But I don’t cower in fear. At times you get hit and at times you don’t, but it doesn’t affect me. My job is to get the ball to turn and I focus on that”
Last season Yadav didn’t feature in too many matches but this season he is featuring in almost all the games as he is fitter, stronger and has become a vital cog in the KKR spin unit. He has been working on his fitness levels and especially his body strength as well as his metal strength.” I have been working on my body and I can feel that my strength has increased. Mentally I am stronger that before.”
“2014 (U-19 World cup) ke baad fitness pey zyaada focus diya (Ever since the 2014 world cup I have been focusing more on my fitness) and now I am reaping its benefits. The more fit you are the better you can bowl and the more matches I play, the better for me.”
From a budding talent Kuldeep has now matured into a frontline spinner for his side, for which he credits the KKR think-tank.
“When a franchise hires you at a such a young age, it is important how they handle a youngster, how they groom him and I am fortunate to have such a wonderful dressing room who has helped me throughout the journey. A lot of credit has to be given to the team management for helping me grow with time. I have learnt a lot from Wasim Akram and Brad Hogg. Skipper Gautam Gambhir has always backed me and tells me to express myself on the field.”
While KKR’s batting is powerful, how far they will progress will also be ascertained by their bowling lineup. Expressing his views on this point the Kanpur-lad said, “Obviously we have a strong batting unit but our bowling is equally strong because of the variety we have. The spin unit is also the best in IPL and I am hopeful that if we do well we will go a long way into the tournament”.
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First Published on: April 27, 2017 7:06 pm