It’s a normal thing for me to not get picked due to combinations: Kuldeep Yadav


PTI, Jul 28, 2023, 11:02 AM IST

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Getting dropped due to conditions that require a specific playing combination has been a ”normal” thing for Kuldeep Yadav and the left-arm wrist spinner believes that it is better to make every opportunity count than fret on chances that he lost over the years.

The Kanpur man snapped 4 for 6 in just three overs to lead India to a five-wicket win in the first ODI against the West Indies on Thursday. He won the ‘Player of the Match’ award and it would be fair to say that his googlies (one that turns away from right handers) were at times unreadable. ”Most of the times, when I don’t get to play it is because of the situation and combination. It is a normal thing now. I have been playing cricket for so many years, it has been more than six years now. These things are normal,” he told reporters during the post-match press conference.

While dropping his guard for a split second, he was back to speaking about ”process” and how he focuses on his length rather than obsess about taking wickets.

”I don’t think much about taking wickets now. My focus is more on the process that what length I should be bowling,” he said.

Kuldeep, who has taken 19 wickets from 9 ODIs this year, hasn’t consistently found a place across versions in the Indian side.

He was left out of the second Test against Bangladesh despite taking eight wickets, including a fifer and scoring a crucial 40 in the first innings last December.

”Since the past one and half years, when I have returned from the injury, I have tried to bowl on those good lengths. I want to be more consistent with the length, and as far are wickets are concerned, on some days, you will get the wicket, while on others, you won’t.

”Situation is also very important. I try my variations only when the opposition has lost four or five wickets quickly.”

Of competition in Indian team and his relation with Yuzvendra Chahal

Kuldeep said competition in the Indian team only motivates him to do well and he is focusing more on his process than performance.

”Competition will always be there in the Indian cricket team but it motivates you as well to do well as you can’t take anything lightly. For me, process is more important than performance. ”I have been working at the NCA on by bowling, on my length. When you get the opportunity, you try to make it count,” he said.

Kuldeep and fellow leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal formed the famous ”Kul-Cha”, which made an big impact when they played together for sometime, claiming 135 wickets in 34 games.

However, the duo hasn’t played together for sometime now with Kuldeep preferred over Chahal in the opening ODI here.

”We are pretty relaxed. We know that combination matters a lot. We have a good understanding. He helps me a lot, when I am playing. He always wants me to do give my best. At the same time I also share my opinions, when he gets the chance to play. ”The ‘Kul-Cha’ has been done well over the years because we support each other,” he said.

Support of Dravid, Rohit and Kohli boosts my morale

Talking about the role played by seniors such as former captain Virat Kohli, current skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, Kuldeep said: ”Seniors plays a big role. When I brought the changes in my game, Virat bhai and Rohit bhai supported me a lot. They have shown confidence in me. Also coach Rahul sir has backed me a lot.” On Thursday, India skittled out the Windies for 114 in 23 overs with Ravindra Jadeja (3/37 in 6 overs) and Kuldeep (4/6 in 3 overs) sharing seven wickets.

Ishan Kishan then made a half-century (52 off 46 balls) to take the team home in just 22.5 overs after Rohit and Kohli decided to give game time to middle-order batters.

”To be very honest, initially it looked like a good wicket for the seamers. Our fast bowlers, they bowled really well. When Ravindra Jadeja was bowling, it was gripping and turning at the same time,” Kuldeep said. ”When I started from the other end, I got the drift as well as the turn. In the second innings, their left-arm spinner (Gudakesh Motie) and leg-spinner (Yannic Cariah), they bowled well as well and were getting bounce and turn. I think it was a good wicket for spinners as well.

”It would have been great if we have won the game by eight or nine wickets but they bowled really well. Sometimes you just want to give opportunity to the younger boys, so probably in the next game, you will see the full side batting and hopefully we can win the second one and the series,” he concluded.

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