I have learned a lot about Test cricket from R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, says Kuldeep Yadav

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I have learned a lot about Test cricket from R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, says Kuldeep Yadav

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SportsCafe Desk


Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav revealed that R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have helped him a lot and he has learnt a lot from the duo while being the reserve spinner in the team. The 22-year old is hoping to feature in the playing XI in the last Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekelle on Saturday.

Following Ravindra Jadeja's suspension, Kuldeep Yadav will be the favourite to start in the playing XI against Sri Lanka in the last and final Test although Axar Patel has been called in the team. 

The 22-year old revealed that the tour has been invaluable in terms of the knowledge he has gained while staying around with world class spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

"Definitely you will have to wait for your chance if no.1 and no.2 spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja) in the world are in the same Test squad. You cannot walk into the team so easily and you have to wait as that's the rule of cricket.

"I try to stay with them mostly and keep talking to them and they help me a lot. So I have learnt a lot from them especially playing Test cricket with them," Kuldeep told PTI.

The wrist-spinner made an immediate impact on the game on his debut scalping four wickets in the first innings against Australia which helped India seal the series 2-1. The excitement is still alive for the youngster who is looking forward to playing his second Test of his career in the Island nation.

"Obviously there is excitement. I was excited to play my debut Test as well. So if I get a chance to play in Sri Lanka I will be very happy because this will be a result of my hard work. While I am excited, I am also nervous because I want to perform," said Yadav.

"It is still not clear (if I will play) because there are three days left for practice. But ever since I have come here, (Ravi) Shastri sir keeps on motivating me. I have been doing nets and he has been talking to me during the nets from even before the first Test. It is a good experience," he said.

Talking about his Test debut, Yadav recalled, "In my head, I wasn't thinking who I am playing against, whether Australia or New Zealand, I was only thinking about taking as many wickets as possible. I just wanted to show what skill I have. And that is what I did. Anil sir and Ajinkya bhai both told me to just enjoy my bowling and do what I do in nets or what I have been doing since childhood.

"And in my head, the first ball was very important. I wanted to bowl the first ball very well and that was my thinking. So when the first ball was good, and 1-2 overs went well, I grew in confidence and lost my nervousness," he added.

Following his sensational Test debut, Yadav featured in five ODIs and one-off T20 against Windies in the Caribbean and continued to mesmerize the cricketing fraternity with his scintillating performances. Yadav revealed that it was none other than Indian skipper Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni who helped him overcome the nervousness during his ODI debut.

"Ahead of ODI debut, I wasn't as nervous. There was pressure in ODIs as well because the batsmen are attacking you."

"It took me three overs to settle down on my ODI debut before I figured out how to adjust my lengths as the wickets were very slow in the West Indies. I also talked to Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) and Virat (Kohli) bhai and it became easier for me to perform in every match.

"It helps if the captain believes in you as half your work is done. Captain's belief is very important and Virat bhai supports me a lot."

However, Yadav might miss out on his first foreign tour with the team as Axar is expected to be chosen over him due to his unorthodox left-arm spin that is expected to generate sharp turn and bounce on the Pallekelle wicket. Meanwhile, Kuldeep has keenly observed the Sri Lankan batsmen in action and is ready to perturb them with his wrist spin if given a chance.

"I didn't plan anything in particular before coming to Sri Lanka. But I did work a little bit on my mindset because you are bowling on overseas wickets. Here wickets are a bit similar to Indian wickets so you do have an idea how to bowl. Only the batsmen are a bit different in terms of their approach so obviously, I have planned a little bit.

"Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne batted very well in the last Test. They played sweep very well. It is difficult for spinners if the batsmen are playing the sweep so effectively. But playing sweep also means a lot of chances for bowlers, so if you plan even a little about them it becomes very helpful," Yadav signed off.

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