‘Felt huge pressure when I played Chennai Test against England’, Kuldeep Yadav admits having self-doubts

Kuldeep is enduring a tough time in international cricket for quite a while now.

Kuldeep Yadav | GettyWrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav is enduring a tough time in international cricket for quite a while now. He was part of the Indian squads on the Australia tour and the home series against England, but didn’t get many opportunities.

While the 26-year-old played only one ODI Down Under, he featured in one Test and two ODIs against England without any notable performance.

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In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Kuldeep on Wednesday (May 12) admitted that he battled thoughts of self-doubts and confidence as he continued to get benched in the series against Australia and England.

“I didn’t play as many matches as I expected to, and somewhere I was low on confidence. When you are playing non-stop, players do feel high on confidence. The more one sits out the more it gets tougher. I felt a huge pressure on me when I played the Test against England in Chennai this February (his last Test was in January 2019). Due to Covid there was nothing happening, so things got really tougher even more last year. It wasn’t the best period,” Kuldeep said.

The chinaman bowler, who hasn’t been included in the squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the five-Test series versus England, called the last year of his professional career a difficult period.

“Sometimes I felt, ‘what is going on?’. It was difficult times. Sometimes, the mind says, ‘ab shayad woh Kuldeep nahi rahe’ (Perhaps, I am not the same Kuldeep). Sometimes I feel, ‘no, I am still the same’ and I wait for the opportunity,” he said.

“There were days when you feel serving drinks and being on the bench is for the best – yaar yeh to best seat hai apne liye – and then but there are days you don’t want to be in that place. I would think, I should have been there playing. I tried to motivate myself every time. I try to be happy and feel that I am bowling well. There was self-doubt somewhere. It happens with everyone, I started questioning myself.”

The lowest point for Kuldeep was when he didn’t get a single chance in the now-suspended IPL 2021 season for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

“I was, especially when I didn’t find a place in my IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. I wondered, ‘am I that bad?’ It’s a team-management decision and it would be wrong to go and ask them,” Kuldeep responded when asked if was depressed.

“I wasn’t played in Chennai during the IPL despite knowing it’s a turner. I was a bit shocked but couldn’t do anything. The bio-bubble life has also thrown challenges for everyone. When I am not playing, nothing looks nice.”


By Salman Anjum - 12 May, 2021

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