Kuldeep Yadav, India and Kolkata Knight Riders leg-spinner, has reckoned that if his franchise can strike a good combination, then they can surely lift its third IPL trophy this season.
The 13th edition of the cash-rich IPL will take place in the United Arab Emirates between September 19- November 10, and just like any other season, the Kolkata-based franchise will go into the tournament as one of the favorites.
In Tom Banton, Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pat Cummins, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, Kolkata Knight Riders have a brilliant mix of youth and experience, and as Kuldeep said, ultimately, it will all boil down to the team combinations they choose.
“If we can strike a good combination, we can certainly win it this year or next year. After all, it’s cricket, we will win sooner or later,” Kuldeep Yadav said on Kolkata Knight Riders’ official website.
Kuldeep Yadav recalls his maiden hat-trick in ODI cricket
Kuldeep also went on to recall the 2018 edition of the IPL, where the Knight Riders were undone by Rashid Khan’s magic with the bat during the second qualifier.
“I remember the match we lost against Sunrisers Hyderabad (in qualifier 2). I was out of the ground because my spell was over. They were on 125 and I thought they would not go beyond 145. But Rashid Khan came into the middle and changed the game.” he recalled.
Kuldeep Yadav is the only Indian bowler to claim two hat-tricks in One-day International cricket, the first of which came against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2017. Yadav recalled what was going through his mind and the advice that MS Dhoni gave him to post the second wicket.
“I got my first wicket of Matthew Wade and then in the next ball I plucked Ashton Agar. For the third ball, I asked Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) what to bowl. When you have so many variations, you get confused. He just let me do whatever I felt was right but suggested that I kept it to the stumps.” Kuldeep Yadav said.
“I kept a slip and gully in place. Luckily I bowled a good ball and got the edge. Getting a hat-trick at Eden Garden, that too in the first year of international cricket, is a big thing and this was one of the biggest moments of my life.” he added.