KKR spinner Kuldeep Yadav has termed the RCB skipper Virat Kohli as his biggest foe in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). Although KXIP opener Chris Gayle has taken the IPL 2018 by storm with his swashbuckling ton and two fifties in just 4 innings, Kuldeep feels Kohli is the bigger headache to deal with since he is a busy batsman and looks to score off every delivery.
"It really does not affect me who is batting against me but someone like Virat is a lot more difficult to bowl at as he will not let you bowl dot balls and besides hitting you for a four or six, will take twos and threes too. This creates pressure on the bowler,” Kuldeep said in an exclusive interview with India Today.
“No doubt Chris Gayle is an impact player and dominates every bowler. He can hit you for a six or maybe a four but can't take singles and doubles. So there is always the option of bowling a dot ball to him and also taking a wicket," he added.
Kuldeep has claimed 7 wickets from 8 matches in this year’s IPL thus far and is currently the second highest wicket-takers for KKR after Sunil Narine (8 wickets in 8 matches). Having taken his standards to a different level with 17 wickets in 6 ODIs against the Proteas earlier this year, Yadav isn’t quite pleased with showing in the cash-rich event.
"Personally, I am not that happy with myself. I wanted more wickets against my name at this stage of the tournament. But I am returning from an injury. It was difficult for me to perform straightaway after that finger injury. I feel good to get my rhythm back. Hopefully, I will do well in the coming games," Kuldeep asserted.
The 23-year-old also revealed that he tries to pick the brains of spin legends – Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan – during the meet-up in IPL matches.
"I met Murali Sir recently during our IPL game against Hyderabad and spoke in detail with him. I keep on calling him too over phone and also spoke to Shane Warne many times. I keep on taking inputs from the best people in the business. It is very important for me. The quality that they have is incomparable and if a little bit of it rubs on to me then I can further enhance my capability," Yadav disclosed.
The boy from Kanpur also talked about the performances of KKR in this season. Having started the tournament in a grand fashion, KKR lost the plot and are currently placed at No.4 in the points table with 8 points.
"If we don't win next couple of games, we can slide further so we need to win consistently. It is important for any team to have good spinners. Our spinners too have done well in the matches that we have played so far. All three of us want to do well in the coming games. Spinners are doing well not just in the IPL but everywhere. Everyone gets hit for a four or six but if you are bowling quality deliveries, looking for wickets, getting the ball to turn, then it is difficult for any batsman to make runs against your bowling," the wrist-spinner concluded.