Not many cricketers make their presence known, even before donning the Indian team’s colours. Kuldeep Yadav is one such cricketer. He has been knocking the Indian cricket team’s door consistently for a while now. His performance in the domestic circuit has been brilliant and his extra-ordinary chinaman control with the ball gives him an edge above others. In the recent warm-up game against England, he picked 5 wickets. This was also the match in which he was playing under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Sportswallah got in touch with Kuldeep Yadav and tried to bring his views out on his recent performances, playing under Dhoni and how soon he sees himself making debut for the national side.
You picked 5 wickets in the first warm-up game against England. How much is this performance going to boost your confidence?
It feels good. It was a big platform. It was a big occasion as well. I was playing under the leadership of Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). At the same time, it was also very challenging to perform in front of him. I am happy that I bowled well. Confidence has definitely gone up after the match. In the next matches, it will help me a lot.
The most unique ability that you have got is bowling Chinaman deliveries. There are not many bowlers in the world who own such skill. How did you start bowling Chinaman? Was it from the start or you developed it later on?
To be very honest, I did not have much idea about Chinaman. When I started off, my coach said that you need to work on bowling more Chinaman deliveries. I kept on bowling it and positive results started coming in. Whenever I failed, my coach and family gave great support. They always motivated me to push myself. My coach always said that this is something different and nobody does it. He told me that you have command over this and you can do much better. I just carried on working on these deliveries and everything fell on its place.
You played your first and last match under MS Dhoni’s leadership. How was the overall experience?
It was my dream to play under his captaincy that came true in his last match captaining an Indian team. When I played under him, I felt how it feels like. The way he talks to his bowlers is just amazing. Whatever experience I had with him has been great. He is one of the best captains we ever had in India. The way he keeps his calm and his positive nature is something really amazing. Even when a bowler is going for runs, he never loses his calm.
In the warm-up match, he was constantly talking to me after every over. How to plan the field? Where to bowl and how to bowl a particular batsman? Not many captains have such quality. For me, it’s a very big thing that I played under his captainship and took a five-wicket haul. I will remember these moments forever.
How was it bowling with Pink Ball in Duleep Trophy last year?
It was also a very good experience. Yuvi bhai (Yuvraj Singh) was the captain and he was motivating us all to play well. The whole focus was on bowling well. Playing with the pink ball was a good experiment. It was a fine experience. It is a little difficult to bowl with the Ppnk ball during night time as the dew makes it tough to grip the ball.
How different is it from red ball?
There is a huge difference. Playing with the Kookaburra balls is a different experience altogether. Kookaburra balls skit a lot. On the other hand, SG balls turn a lot. You get a lot of drift as well. Both these balls are different from each other.