Having made his international debut back in March 2017, India’s left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has come a long way. He recently had a memorable tour of South Africa, taking 17 wickets in 6 ODIs as the Men in Blue clinched the one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1.
More than the number of wickets, it is Kuldeep’s mystery that has been a constant headache for the batters around the world. Despite the video analysis and modern day technology, batsmen haven’t really been able to pick him with certainty.
In his recent interview with Hindustan Times, Kuldeep opened up about his success and the rationale behind team’s inefficiency to decode his bowling thus far.
“Technology has been there for a long time. If you are turning the ball, drifting it and deceiving opposition batsman, nobody can stop you from being a successful spinner. I don’t believe video analysis can make a big difference in understanding my bowling,” Kuldeep told Hindustan Times.
“There are small aspects you work on, which no analyst can catch. It’s about understanding the batsman’s thinking and attacking him that way. How well you deceive him in match situation is important. Those are the small things that you hone with regular practice, which becomes the differentiating factor,” he added.
Kuldeep’s claims are rather fair considering the fact that he has already taken 39 wickets in 20 ODIs, besides scalping 9 in 2 Tests and 12 in 8 T20Is. During the South Africa tour though, he took his 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.
“My aim was to take 15 wickets in six matches. I got two extra and I was very happy, especially because my role was important in the team’s series win. It was my first tour and there was not much pressure. My preparation was good. I worked with my coach in Kanpur and also in NCA. I had confidence and belief in my skills,” Kuldeep asserted.
During the IPL auction in January, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) brought the Right to Match (RTM) card to secure the services of Kuldeep after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bid for him at INR 5.80 crores. Speaking about his journey with KKR, the left-arm chinaman said: “Definitely, responsibility will be more this time. It’s my fourth year with KKR and I am looking forward to it.”
Talking about his experience of bowling with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep said: “Our main aim is to take wickets. We often get hit for fours or sixes but it has never deterred us. Our bowling style is not such that we will restrict the batsman too much, there will be runs but there will be wickets too.”
“We are together for five years. We back each other. In limited overs cricket, the middle overs are very important. We try to give the team wickets during that time,” he concluded.