Indian left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is the new sensational bowler. In the recently concluded South Africa tour, Kuldeep played an important role in the ODI series where he was the highest wicket-taker. He revealed that he was nervous before that series but now he is ready for the foreign tours.
India won the six-match bilateral ODI series against the hosts South Africa by the 1-5 margin while the chinaman bowler was the highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets.
Talking about that series, Kuldeep Yadav told the Indian Express, “I am very happy how it panned out. First away tour was really nice for me. I was nervous before going there but was equally excited. I always thought to myself that this was an opportunity to learn something new. My plan was to get acclimatised to conditions as soon as possible.
He further added, “Knowing that turn will be less but bounce will be more, I prepared myself accordingly. I was mentally well-prepared and composed myself by believing in my strengths. My strength is not bowling quick- something that Imran Tahir does. But my focus was giving the ball more flight, bowl slower through the air, and at the same time focus on the amount of drift. I wanted to deceive the batsmen by holding it in the air.”
When Kuldeep was questioned whether he can now play the overseas Test matches, he confidently replied, “Obviously, I am ready for the foreign tours. I love pitches outside India more as they offer true bounce, wickets here are slow. I am ready to play all the three formats, that is the ultimate goal.”
Kuldeep also said that he is ready to lead the spin attack if Ravichandran Ashwin moves to the all-rounder role.
The 23-years old chinaman also mentioned that the former World Cup & World T20 winning Indian skipper MS Dhoni and present Indian skipper Virat Kohli made their job easier.
Talking about MS Dhoni, Kuldeep quoted, “Mahi Bhai keeps sharing his wealth of experience with me, so it really feels good to be around him. It helps us to have a strong mindset.”
Then Kuldeep told about Virat Kohli, “At the same time, Virat bhai also encourages to keep attacking the batsmen. He believes in us, always motivates us and there can be nothing bigger for a youngster than this.”
When Kuldeep was asked if the Indian batsmen find difficulties to pick him in the net, he admitted with the laugh, “Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But most of them are class players.”
Kuldeep also revealed that who picks him best as he quoted, “Virat Kohli picks me the best.”
Kuldeep also analysed his bowling by saying, “I try to keep things simple. I focus on my grip and keep it firm but not too tight, else I won’t be able to release it properly. Upon that there is alignment- body coordination is also vital. The better you co-ordination the more purchase and drift you can get. If you get the drift right then it becomes difficult for the batsman to play. But what is also important is to control the drift. I do not focus too much on pace. It generally varies from 75 to 85 kmph and I keep it at that. What I also like to do is set my field and plan accordingly.”
Kuldeep was also asked how he confidently flights the ball when there has always threatened to concede the over-boundary. In reply, Kuldeep said, “If you don’t have confidence in your abilities then you can never deliver on the international stage. I have never feared to flight the ball, never thought about giving away runs. Since childhood, I have been used to getting hit but coming back to take wickets. Now when a batsman hits me for a six it gives me the confidence of getting him out. So I keep thinking positive and try to get the wicket for the team.”
He further added, “Inviting the batsman for the big shot is something that I always try to do. There is no pulling back the length, changing the line or bowling a flat trajectory. It is up to the batsmen to take up the challenge and try to hit me.”
Kuldeep also credited Brad Hogg and Gautam Gambhir to improve him in the IPL. Kuldeep quoted, “I learnt a lot from the likes of Brad Hogg. Gautam Gambhir also backed me to the hilt and that really helped me grow.”