The last few years might not have been great for Kuldeep Yadav but the left-arm wristspinner is steadily returning back to his best. The 27-year-old said he is no more afraid of failures and just wants to enjoy the game.
Kuldeep picked up a four-wicket haul, including a hat-trick to star in the win for India A against New Zealand A in the second unofficial ODI in Chennai on Sunday. After dismissing Sean Solia for his first wicket of the match, Kuldeep picked up the wickets of Logan Van Beek, Joe Walker and Jacob Duffy to complete a memorable hat-trick.
"I did not know how to cope with not getting enough game time. After the injury layoff of 4 months, I realised that I need to bowl quicker and began working on it. I am not afraid of failures now," said Kuldeep after the match, which India A won by four wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Kuldeep, who has featured in seven Tests, 69 ODIs and 25 T20Is, formed a superb combo with legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal but he has been in and out of the national side in the recent past due to loss of form and injuries. He underwent a surgery after sustaining a knee injury during the IPL in September last year.
"When you fail, you learn. When I came back to the Indian side in January. I was not afraid of failure, I wanted to enjoy the game. My focus is to keep hitting the good lengths. (Getting) wickets is not in my hands...just want to bowl in good areas. To be honest, when I got injured, coming back from there, understanding my rhythm was very important. I was a little bit slow. After surgery, I have changed that rhythm, bowling with more effort and more control."
After a long rehabilitation process, he was included in the three-match ODI series against West Indies and also replaced injured Washington Sundar in the three T20Is against Sri Lanka in February. However, he featured in just one ODI against West Indies and one T20I against Sri Lanka. He suffered another injury, this time on his right hand while batting in the nets ahead of the T20I series against South Africa in June.
"Right from the IPL, coming back, I was bowling well in the IPL before I got hit in the nets and was out for two months. In the West Indies, I bowled really well and in Zimbabwe as well. Accuracy and speed were phenomenal. Then coming back, I'm playing red ball (unofficial Tests vs New Zealand 'A'). I played 2 games here...in the first game also the control was beautiful. I am very happy.
"When you keep playing, you learn. You want to play more games but that could not happen. I actually didn't know how to cope up with it. The injury was lucky for me. I could understand my body and on comeback, began thinking about my rhythm. It is challenging but you have to see the other part as well...It is always tough playing for India."
(With inputs from PTI)