IPL 2022: “Whenever I saw him, he was so into his shell last year” Harbhajan recalls Kuldeep’s forgettable KKR stint

The left-arm spinner played just 14 matches for KKR from 2019-21.

Kuldeep Yadav | BCCI-IPL

While the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the emergence of many new bowlers, it also saw the re-emergence of many players, including Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav, and Kuldeep Yadav, who were dropped from the Indian T20 team due to poor form or other reasons, and are gradually making their way back in contention for the national side.

Kuldeep Yadav, 27, has made an almost unreal comeback in the ongoing IPL. Playing for the Delhi Capitals (DC), he has taken 17 wickets in just 9 matches averaging 15.82. Yadav, in the previous 2 seasons, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) managed to take just 5 wickets in both seasons combined. 

SEE ALSO: WATCH - "He’s like my big brother", Kuldeep Yadav dismisses talks of competition with Chahal

Kuldeep made his IPL debut in 2016 after getting picked by KKR in 2014. Between 2016 and 2018, he took 35 wickets in 31 matches. However, between 2020 and 2021, the left-arm spinner managed just 14 appearances with five wickets to his name.

Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh while speaking to Star Sports, praised Kuldeep's improved performance, recalling those difficult days. Singh revealed that the young lad was almost crying the day he was leaving with an injury in 2021. 

“Whenever I saw him, he was so into his shell last year. KKR wasn't playing him. Then he got injured. The day he was leaving he was almost crying. I am so happy that he recovered well and came back strongly,” said Harbhajan.

In the ongoing IPL, the 27-year-old holds the second spot in the purple cap list with Yuzvendra Chahal on the top spot. Impressed by the consistency both the ‘leggies’ have shown, Harbhajan has backed both of them to make a comeback to the national side 

“Kuldeep has spent so many hours at the nets. Obviously, he has got injured. And the way he came back to bowling was like he was doing it for the first time. KulCha are doing so great. They have a great future ahead. When they played for India together they were brilliant. And they both now are in good form which means Team India will benefit from this. And I hope they both get selected,” he said.

DC holds the 6th spot in the points table with 4 wins in 9 matches and will next take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday (May 05).



By Abhishek Ghan - 02 May, 2022

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