Indian left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav started the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka strongly to force his way back into the team as a regular fixture. Kuldeep Yadav had been one cricketer who had a point to prove more than anyone ahead of the series in Sri Lanka. The 26-year old credited coach Rahul Dravid for his resurgence, telling him to enjoy his game and focus on the process.
Kuldeep Yadav was amongst the three bowlers to pick two wickets in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The left-arm spinner dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Minod Bhanuka in the 17th over to put the hosts on the back foot after an assured start. He eventually finished with figures of 9-1-48-2, helping India restrict the opposition to 262.
Kuldeep Yadav revealed he was nervous to play after a long time; however, he revealed that Rahul Dravid backed him thoroughly. The Kanpur-born leggie highlighted that Dravid advised him to focus on the process and apply what he learnt in the last 15 days, enabling him to deliver a good performance.
“You’re definitely nervous if you play cricket after so long, and you want to perform well. Rahul (Dravid) sir backed me a lot and motivated me. We spoke a lot, and he told me that I should just enjoy bowling, focus on the processes that we have worked on in the last 15 days, and don’t be tense about the result. I’m very happy that my performance was good,” Kuldeep said as quoted by India Today.
If people talk about my wickets, it’ll be nicer: Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav further stated that bowlers are inevitable to go for runs; however, he reminded he has been amongst the wickets. The 26-year old looked back at the series against England in Pune, stating the pitches did not help the spinners much. However, Kuldeep believes in that case, batsmen deserve credit instead of bowlers being subjected to intense criticism.
“As a bowler, you are supposed to get hit for runs, but other times you get wickets too. I have taken three-four wickets often, taken five-six wickets too. If people talk about my wickets, it’ll be nicer. Nobody’s career is finished after one game or two games. I think the last series was good for England because the pitches were very good in Pune. Spinners didn’t get much help. It sometimes happens, and the pitch is not in your favour. But sometimes you should credit the batsmen too for batting well, rather than say someone’s cricket is finished,” he added.