After the match-winning bowling performance in the first Test against the West Indies at Rajkot, India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has said that he went back to the drawing board to sort out technical issues after being dropped from the national Test team during the England tour.
After receiving some beating in the first innings, Kuldeep came back emphatically in the second essay to claim his maiden five-wicket haul (5/57) in Test cricket. The 23-year-old removed Kieran Powell (83), Shai Hope (17), Shimron Hetmyer (11), Sunil Ambris (0) and Roston Chase (20) to help India thrash West Indies by an innings and 272 runs.
"It is very difficult to switch to red ball from white ball and vice versa, especially for a wrist spinner. It is challenging because you take time to get used to it. White ball is on the harder side, grips better. Red ball wears down faster, gets soft," Kuldeep told reporters after the match.
Kuldeep played only one Test in England. After a wicket-less outing on a seamer-friendly Lord's strip, the chinaman bowler was left out from the squad for the final two Tests.
"After coming back from England, I went to my coach at home, bowled with the red ball for three four days. It was difficult because after playing white ball format you lose rhythm with the red ball. I mainly focused on release of red ball, bowling slower as you tend to bowl faster with white-ball," he added.
When asked what went wrong at the Lord's, where he couldn’t claim a wicket in nine overs, Kuldeep said: "In England I was thinking bowling good length but that time I was not much used to the Duke ball. The Duke red ball is harder than the SG so you need probably 10-15 days to get used to the ball."
Kuldeep said a five-wicket haul is always special regardless of the opposition.
“This is one (format) which everyone wants to feature in. Red-ball cricket is very close to my (heart) and I want to play for long. That’s the whole focus. In England, the conditions were different, may be I could have bowled well there, but it did not happen that way,” he remarked.
Kuldeep admitted that he had to tweak his bowling plan in the second innings after being hammered in the first essay.
“In the first innings, I had not thought they would attack so much. I started off normally in my spell, and realised they were playing their shots every time I flighted, runs were leaking. So, when I came back for the second innings, I thought of putting a lid on the scoring rate, and as a result, wickets would come. I had to guard against extra flight because these West Indian batsmen have the power game, they can score freely,” he concluded.
(With inputs from TOI)