Kuldeep Yadav : If you can turn the ball on concrete then you can spin it anywhere

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Kuldeep Yadav : If you can turn the ball on concrete then you can spin it anywhere

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SportsCafe Desk


Kuldeep Yadav has claimed that bowling on concrete since his childhood has trained him for bowling on any surface and believes that skill and good variation are essential for success in the game. Yadav also added that the Yadav-Chahal duo cannot replace the legends Ashwin and Jadeja anytime soon.

Kuldeep, who became only the third Indian player to bag an ODI hat-trick, has become a household name at just the young age of 22, with just two Tests and 11 ODIs to his name. He played a vital role in the 4-1 victory of India over Australia, but, for some, the tours of South Africa and England next year will be the real test. Kuldeep has claimed that bowling on cemented wickets has equipped him to attack the batsman on any surface that can be laid out for him.

Prior to India's series against New Zealand, which is scheduled to begin from Sunday, Kuldeep has stated that his weapon of varied left-arm wrist spin will counter any track.

"It doesn't matter to me where I am playing because since my childhood I have bowled on cemented wickets. So if you can turn the ball on concrete then you can spin it anywhere," Kuldeep told AFP.

"If you have skill, good variation and are beating the batsmen in the air then you can find success anywhere." 

Kuldeep began as a pace bowler but at the age of nine, owing to his coach’s insistence, he switched to wrist spin.

"I started my career in 2004 as a fast bowler. After practising for a few months my coach advised me to switch to spin. I did not like it at the start, but the first ball I bowled was wrist spin and I had no idea what it was. So, he must have thought I have a talent and he worked on it,” he added.

"Initially it was tough but when I got down to it, the hard work paid off."

Kuldeep initially proved his mettle in the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders. However, Yadav’s rise as a fine top-class spinner has proved to be instrumental in India’s rise on top of the world one-day rankings.

This year, the spin sensation took the game in his hands by picking four wickets in his debut Test against Australia in Dharamsala. Also, in Sri Lanka in September, he impressed everyone with his skills and then later in the series against Australia, he puzzled the Australian batsmen with his wrist spin, including star opener David Warner.

"Australia are a good team and compared to other sides always play dominating cricket. Their batsmen don't allow you to settle and just want to dominate a bowler," Kuldeep said.

"Australia are a dangerous side because they play freely and put you under pressure. I played in the West Indies and then in Sri Lanka but they don't play as attacking as the Aussies."

Moreover, Kuldeep stated that he grew up watching and learning from the videos of spin legend Shane Warne. To everyone’s surprise, Yadav’s inspiration praised him recently and compared him to Pakistan's established Test spinnerYasir Shah, saying that Yadav could become "the best leg-spinner" if he remains patient.

"It's great to be compared to a top spinner like Yasir Shah. It's heartening to see praise coming from my idol. It reassures my belief in my talent. It makes me happy that he (Warne) backs me and I feel there is some more talent in me," Kuldeep said. 

Further, many are of the view that the partnership of Kuldeep and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is providing competition for the veterans Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Kuldeep, however, feels that the veterans cannot be replaced and he hopes to keep learning from them.  

"You cannot replace anyone. Ashwin and Jaddu bhai are the number one and number two spinners of India and I will always look up to learn from them. They have done extremely well in Test, ODI and T20 cricket. We are very young and have to play much more cricket to even get close to them." 

Kuldeep also praised the young captain Virat Kohli for his efforts of nurturing the young talent and believes that individual success comes out of the team's hard work.

"It has been a team effort and especially the way Virat Kohli has led the team and backed us youngsters. It has made all the difference and been the biggest factor for our success," he said.

"I don't plan much. I just think that every game is important and the more I keep performing, the better my chances of enjoying a long run with team India,” he concluded. 

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