Exclusive: Kuldeep Yadav will miss this cricketer in the forthcoming IPL

[caption id="attachment_38794" align="aligncenter" width="580"]3588749423001_4911659776001_kuldeep Kuldeep will miss former captain Gautam Gambhir in this season's IPL. Image Source: File Pic[/caption]

Sabyasachi Bagchi: He is currently the most talented young spinner in Indian cricket. Skipper Virat Kohli to coach Ravi Shastri, all has kept their faith on chinaman sensation Kuldeep Yadav. Because of his brilliant bowling veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t getting a chance in the limited overs format. In the recent Proteas tour Kuldeep bowled brilliantly as he took 17 wickets from six games which was the most by any spinners in a bilateral series. Before him, the record was under legendary Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 14 wickets back in 1998.

Indian Premier League season 11 is knocking the door and Kuldeep has started his practice in full flow. The star spinner will reach the City of Joy on March 31 and will join the team’s practice session from April 1. Ahead of that while giving an Exclusive interview to www.xtratime.in he talked about former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir, the current team, spin department and many things.

XT: How was the experience of your career’s first South Africa tour?

Kuldeep: It was great. I didn’t dream that I would get that much success on Proteas soil. On their pace friendly tracks, I and Yuzvendra Chahal both bowled really well and I feel proud about my performance. But despite of saying that I will give credit to Kohli bhai and Ravi sir for their continuous support. It gave me a lot of confidence during the tour.

XT: Not only Kohli, you also got fair support from Dhoni as well.

Kuldeep: You are absolutely right. Mahi Bhai knows cricket so well. He knows what would be the next shot of a batsman and that’s why he usually talked to me every time before I bowl a delivery which encourages me a lot.

XT: Beside getting success during South Africa tour, you were injured as well. Have you taken any lesson from this?

Kuldeep:  After sustaining an injury during the last ODI against South Africa, I couldn’t take part in the T20I series. Now almost after 1 month I have returned to the field. I am bowling in nets for last 7 days as I have to start fresh in IPL. But yes this injury helped me to learn a lot which I can’t deny.

XT: How are you preparing yourself ahead of IPL?

Kuldeep: After reaching to India, I went to NCA for rehab. I trained hard under Narendra Hirwani sir to get back my fitness again. Then after returning to Kanpur I am doing my training with my childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey sir for 6 or 7 hours daily.

XT: You started your IPL career under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy. Now it’s Dinesh Karthik who will lead KKR this season. What is the basic difference between the two?

Kuldeep: It’s really very tough to choose between the too, but one thing I can say that Gauti bhai was very aggressive as a captain. He backed the junior cricketers a lot. On the other hand Dinesh is fighter and I think this kind of a mentality will help him as a captain as well.

XT: Will you ‘miss’ Captain Gautam Gambhir?

Kuldeep: Definitely I will ‘miss’ him. Under his leadership our team won two IPL titles. Young cricketers got a lot of benefits from him and that’s why I will miss him very much. But I think Karthik will do well as captain.

XT: You are playing for KKR since 2014. But do you think this year the expectations will be high?

Kuldeep: I know that there will be more expectations from me as there are a lot of buzz about me, but I am a performer and I am habituated with this things. This year’s IPL will be a lot more challenging for me and I am ready for it.

XT: The nature of the wicket of Eden Gardens has changed a lot. It is helping the pacers. Do you think your job will be tough?

Kuldeep: Yes it will definitely be challenging and as a performer you need to face this challenge. I am not thinking that much about the pitch. Our spin department is very powerful. If Sunil Narine, Piyush bhai and me can bowl to our strengths we can destroy any side.

XT: Whenever we talk about the Eden Gardens, your hat-trick against Australia comes in our mind. How do you feel about this?

Kuldeep: Eden Gardens is a temple to me as I have got everything while playing at this ground. Not only my case, Indian cricket’s most hat-tricks happened here. This will be my fifth season for KKR and it’s a nostalgic moment for me.

XT: Last question. Your thought about the newly formed Kolkata Knight Riders squad.

This side is one of the best sides which KKR had ever got. The combination of senior and junior cricketers is just a treat to watch. We have players like Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, beside that we have players from the current U19 World Cup winning squad, which will add more variation in the team.

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