Having made his international debut back in March 2017, India’s left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has come a long way. He has already taken 39 wickets in 20 ODIs besides scalping 9 in 2 Tests and 12 in 8 T20Is. However, during the South Africa tour, Kuldeep took his bowling feats to a different level altogether. His 17 wickets in 6 ODIs in South Africa is the most by a spinner in the rainbow nation, eclipsing Muttiah Muralitharan’s tally of 14 wickets in 1998.
No wonder, Kuldeep’s state-mate Piyush Chawla feels that there will be the burden of expectations on the chinaman bowler to perform in IPL 2018 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
"He is bowling really well. There will be added pressure on him. Last year there was not much pressure on him as he was still raw, now there will be lot of expectations from him," Chawal quoted by IANS as saying.
"The kind of bowler he is, he will definitely do well. He has been bowling so well for India and for the state as well," he added.
Chawla has been an integral member of KKR camp and has played a key role in their two IPL triumphs thus far. The 29-year-old was retained by the Riders through RTM card in January.
Talking about his pair-up with the West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, who had taken the IPL by storm before being reported for his bowling action, Chawla said: "When I joined KKR, Sunil was taking wickets and our combination worked really well.”
"The best thing is the way he came back after that (reported suspect action). The effectiveness is the same. It's just that the team has started playing him a bit on the safer side.
"When they play you on the safer side, it becomes a bit tough for the bowlers to pick up wickets. But at the same time, it is an opportunity for us to take wickets as batsmen take chances against us. So me or Kuldeep, we get chance to pick up wickets," Chawla explained.
Recently, Narine was reported for suspect action during the ongoing Pakistan Super League. The West Indian mystery spinner who is playing Lahore Qalandars, was placed on the warning list but could continue to take part in the event being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Chawla though is pretty confident about KKR’s deep bowling attack this time around.
"Our bowling line-up is pretty deep. If you see the bowling line up, all the bowlers are wicket takers. That's the main thing in this shorter format. If you have to contain any team, you have to pick up wickets," he said.
Talking about the new skipper Dinesh Karthik, who recently grabbed headlines for his last-ball six that won India the final of Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh, Chawla said: "I have not played much under him, I think one game or so that too in a league so that is different. IPL is different. He is one of the experienced campaigners and right now the way he is playing, that confidence will definitely help him to lead the side as well.”
Chawla also said he is looking forward to watch the U-19 World Cup winning top-order batsman Shubman Gill.
"The way he bats is different. He walks in with a lot of confidence and is one to watch out for," Piyush Chawla concluded.