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‘Mature’ Kuldeep reveals his success mantra after Dharamsala heroics vs England

Young spinner Kuldeep Yadav revealed that his confidence has grown significantly as a result of his regular presence in India’s playing XI throughout the ongoing Test series against England, and the left-arm wrist spinner believes that frequent opportunities have made him sharper and more aware of the game.

Kuldeep, who made his debut at this venue in 2017, has only played 12 Tests in the last seven years, four of which have come in the current series against England. Kuldeep registered a brilliant five-wicket haul to complete 50 Test wickets on Day 1 of the fifth Test against England.

“In the beginning, it was very challenging. I had changed my action, it took six to eight months to find that rhythm. Now, things are all set and I am enjoying it. In Ranchi, I tried something with my run-up (faster approach to the crease as it was a slow surface), and I practise that regularly.” Kuldeep bowled a tremendously productive 15-over stretch on either side of lunch on day one, which he attributes to his increased fitness.

“If you play regularly, you get more confident about your bowling. Game awareness also comes with it. It is very important to keep playing regularly as it makes your bowling sharp,” Kuldeep told the reporters.

Following knee surgery in September 2021, Kuldeep altered his exercise routine, increasing his pace and straightening out his run-up. After a five-wicket haul that helped India bowl out England for 218 on level ground, Kuldeep attributed his ability to make those changes and bowl long spells to his tailored training regime.

“Bowling is all about fitness. I have worked a lot on my fitness in the last 18 months. I have been able to make certain changes in my bowling because of improved fitness,” Kuldeep said at the day-end media conference.

“I am doing specific things on my fitness which is allowing me to bowl long spells. At Rajkot (12 overs in first innings) and Ranchi (14 overs in second innings) also, I bowled log spells. I have gotten used to it.” Kuldeep has got more bite from flat surfaces than the other spinners, as evidenced on Thursday when he got the ball to drift and turn sharply back to castle Zak Crawley. The ball spun from the imaginary fifth off-stump, destroying the England opener’s leg stump.

Kuldeep holds a particular place in his heart for Dharamsala, where he made his Test debut in 2017. Following a great debut, Kuldeep’s career did not take off, but he seemed to have discovered the best version of himself.

“It was an interesting phase. It has been seven years since (debut). I have become a lot more mature about my bowling. I understand my game a lot better now. I know how to read the wicket.” On his stellar effort on day one, he said: “The wicket is good. It is unlikely to break considering the cold weather. It was cold in the first hour. The ball was gripping and was just trying to put revs on the ball.”

Published By:

Saurabh Kumar

Published On:

Mar 7, 2024

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