Leg-spinner, Kuldeep Yadav credits former Kolkata Knight Riders captain, Gautam Gambhir in developing his career whilst their time together in the Indian Premier League (IPL). While Kuldeep was with the Mumbai Indians in 2012 he didn’t get a single game and was released.
KKR, led by Gautam Gambhir, bought him after his terrific show with the ball in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup. But because of the presence of plenty of spinners in the squad, Kuldeep Yadav had to wait till the 2016 season to make his IPL debut. However, the chinaman doesn’t mind that delay as he learned plenty of stuff while being with the squad.
In a video uploaded on KKR’s Facebook page, Kuldeep Yadav said, “I was a senior player during the 2014 U19 World Cup and performances happened exactly according to expectations. From there I was selected for KKR and life changed drastically. I got plenty of time in KKR. There were a lot of senior players, especially Gautam Gambhir.”
I always keep thanking him: Kuldeep Yadav
The 26-year-old says that he always expresses his gratitude towards the 2-time IPL winning skipper. Kuldeep reveals how Gambhir guided him and help him hone his spin-bowling skills eventually giving him confidence and making the leggie ready for international cricket.
“I always keep thanking him. He guided me as a leader and taught me everything. Even before I was about to play in the Champions League, he advised me what to bowl, how to hone my skills and become a confident player,” he added.
The Uttar Pradesh-born spinner had a brilliant start to his IPL career picking up 29 wickets in the 2017 and 2018 seasons making him a constant fixture in the Indian team and earning a spot in the 2019 World Cup squad.
However, things have gone downhill in the last year and a half. Kuldeep could manage to take mere 5 wickets in the last two IPL seasons combined and had to be dropped by KKR. He has also lost his spot in India’s playing eleven in all three formats.
He could be seen in action soon in the upcoming Test series as India host Joe Root’s England. Since Ravindra Jadeja is ruled out due to an injury, Kuldeep Yadav is likely to feature in the Test line-up for the first time since picking a five-wicket haul in Sydney two years ago.