Indian wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has recently opened up on the lack of chances with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) and how it affected his confidence, as well as, his goals for India’s upcoming white-ball tour of Sri Lanka next month.
The chinaman bowler has established himself as one of the best spinners in India at the moment, but he hasn't got consistent chances in the Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game as well has not been regular in KKR’s playing XI in the IPL lately.
Kuldeep was the first choice spinner for KKR when Gautam Gambhir was captain and he also delivered with the ball, as the wrist-spinner scalped 18 wickets in 15 games under the former skipper.
Well, after Gambhir’s exit from KKR, the two-time IPL champions consistently started to finish outside the top four, and Kuldeep was also given fewer chances, played only 14 games and it affected his confidence. The 26-year-old is yet to play a solitary game in the IPL 2021 season.
On KKR’s struggle in the IPL over the past few years, Yadav said the franchise wasn't taking this tournament seriously and feels they lacked the mindset of winning the game.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Kuldeep said: “When you watch international cricket, you see that there's that hunger within Virat Kohli to do well and take the team forward and win. When Gauti Bhai played for KKR, even he had the same mindset that the team should win.”
He continued, “Then I think KKR were lacking in that regard and weren't thinking in that way, or maybe they weren't taking this tournament seriously or thinking about their approach if they lost games. These things matter a lot and I think those things were missing.”
On getting fewer chances with the KKR in the IPL, Kuldeep said: “Somewhere it does feel unfair that when you play for India but you still don't get to play franchise cricket. You do feel bad but there is nothing you can do, you can only work hard and ask for reasons.
When you do ask for reasons you get some explanation but maybe the kind of backing that I was expecting from KKR I didn't get. The kind of trust Gauti Bhai showed in me, maybe I didn't get that in this team.”
With the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 set to be played in India later this year followed by the next edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022, Kuldeep aims to make the most of his chances in Sri Lanka and the remainder of the IPL 14 to feature in at least one of the two showpiece events.
He signed off by saying, “If I do get a chance on the Sri Lanka tour or in the second half of the IPL then I will be able to make an impact in the T20 World Cup. And there is another World Cup next year Down Under, so it's not that this is my last chance. I might be effective in Australia if I get a chance.”
(With Sportskeeda Inputs)