Kuldeep Yadav: The Indian spinner revealed how he was helped by the constant advises of the former Indian captain.
Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Kuldeep Yadav has admitted to be frustrated after not getting a game in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League.
With the emergence of Varun Chakravarthy, the second Indian spinner’s spot often went to Harbhajan Singh at Knight Riders this year. In Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine, Knight Riders played one overseas spin-bowling all-rounder in all their matches which further made it difficult for Yadav to press his case.
“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. 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,” Kuldeep was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
It was in IPL 2019 that Yadav’s downfall had started to the extent that he seldom received opportunities at the highest level. In the last three IPL seasons, Yadav has picked just five wickets in 14 matches at an average and strike rate of 75.60 and 54 respectively.
Kuldeep Yadav opens up on bowling without MS Dhoni behind the wickets
Out of Yadav’s 91 international appearances across formats, 59 have come with former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets. As compared to his overall average and strike rate of 24.04 and 28.7 respectively, Yadav used to return better numbers in an average and strike rate of 20.85 and 24.5 respectively of in Dhoni’s presence.
In the twilight of his career, Dhoni was often seen guiding Yadav and fellow spinner Yuzvendra Chahal as the pair would mostly rely on the veteran wicket-keeper for suggestions.
“Sometimes, I miss that guidance because he [MS Dhoni] has great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming! We miss his experience.
“When Mahi bhai was there, I and Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven’t played together. I played only a handful of games after Mahi bhai left,” Kuldeep said.
Since Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket, Yadav’s 18 wickets in 16 matches across formats have come at an average of 45.83, an economy rate of 6.28 and a strike rate of 43.7. While Yadav has played 27 matches for India with current wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant also in the XI, he reckons the latter will give “more input” with more experience.
“Rishabh [Pant] is there now, the more he plays, the more input he will give in the future. I always felt every bowler needs a partner who can respond from the other end,” Kuldeep added.
Not part of India’s squad for the tour of England, 26-year old Yadav will be looking forward to the next domestic season to pick wickets and be in recognition for national selection.