In the past couple of years, Kuldeep Yadav has endured one too many swings of misfortune in his career. Kuldeep, who was touted as India’s No 1 overseas spinner by team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri, was not even considered for the World Test Championship (WTC) final and a five-match series against England.
Kuldeep’s childhood coach, Kapil Dev Pandey, said that the left-arm wrist-spinner had taken the England tour snub on the chin and had shifted the focus on his bowling.
“For the last seven or eight days, when the lockdown rules have been relaxed, we have been working on his bowling, especially on his googly,” Kapil Dev Pandey told India Today.In.
“Kuldeep’s biggest strength is his googly. It has always been his wicket-taking delivery, but he has not been able to bowl it at a good length in recent times. He was bowling one too many loose balls. Kuldeep has worked on it, and he is pitching all his googlies on good lengths and is getting a good amount of turn and purchase as well.”
Kuldeep Yadav (right) with his childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey (Courtesy: India Today)
“Kuldeep has always been a wicket-taker and has gone for runs a few times, but now he wants to add another dimension to his bowling. Kuldeep is also working on his stock delivery to check the run flow in the middle overs. Although taking wickets is his priority, he wants to be economical as well,” added Kapil Pandey.
Kuldeep was once regarded as someone who could add a new dimension to the Indian bowling attack. There is no doubt that he has achieved a lot of success, but his effectiveness has been questioned recently. He has been consistently in and out of the national team, and nowadays, he hardly gets to play for his Indian Premier League (IPL) team, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
“Look at his record; he has taken more than 100 wickets (105) in 60 odd matches (65). Kuldeep has a fantastic strike rate. He is still a match-winner, but his confidence has gone down because of the lack of matches,” said Pandey.
“ On the Australia tour, where he took a five-wicket haul last time, he didn’t get to play a single Test, even when half of the team was injured. Then, against England at home, he could have easily taken at least 30 wickets if he played all the Test matches. In the IPL, when his team is not losing one match after another, while he is warming the bench. I don’t want to say this, but sometimes, I feel the team management has given Kuldeep a step-motherly treatment,” said Kuldeep Yadav’s childhood coach.
The England tour snub has hit Kuldeep badly, but Kapil Pandey has told him to take inspiration from his teammate Rohit Sharma.
“I told him today only; you should look at Rohit Sharma and take inspiration from his journey. Rohit Sharma used to be consistently in and out of the team, but he cemented his place with his performances,” said Pandey.
India will play three ODIs and three T20Is against Sri Lanka scheduled in July. All matches will be played at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo.
Kapil Dev Pandey believes that his ward will play more matches, and he will shut down the critics with his performance.
“The best way to deal with criticism is to take wickets and score runs. I am hopeful that he will have a fruitful series in Sri Lanka,” he signed off.