In between sketching and training indoors, star India bowler Kuldeep Yadav took out time to chat with cricket.com on topics ranging from the T20 World Cup in Australia and the art of chinaman bowling. Here are a few excerpts.
You did go back to your coach Kapil Pandey after the New Zealand tour. Any particular areas you worked on?
After I returned from New Zealand I took one day off and went to the academy. I was there for 12-13 days before I went to the national cricket academy (NCA). In those 12 days I worked hard on the basics. I felt something was missing. So during that period sir told me about my rhythm and releasing point. I watched a couple of old videos of mine so I could get an actual idea of what I was lacking in. So I worked hard and tried to fix the issues and before the South Africa series I was fully prepared and ready to go.
What goes through your mind if the batsman is going after you and you are having a rough day? For example, if we talk about that match against RCB where Moeen Ali went after you, you almost broke down.
I feel when it is your off day you just need to focus on the next delivery and forget about what happened in the previous over or during the game. You have to be very strong mentally. And I was very disappointed with my performance in the last IPL game against RCB. Something else was going on in my mind but my heart was saying something else. The two couldn’t sync properly. My mind was saying at that time that going around the wicket was the ideal thing but I thought maybe I should go towards the wicket and get him out. So that was where it went wrong. If the batsman is going really well against you then you have to give it to the batsman. Sometimes you need to bowl for a single and rotate the strike and let the next batsman come and then you can attack him. That’s what I feel.
Being a wristspinner, how important is it to keep evolving and adding new variations to your bowling?
It depends from spinner to spinner I guess. If you believe in your ability, your basics are perfect and if you are spinning the ball that’s more than enough for any spinner. The T20 format is cunning so you need to mix it up. I don’t think you need to add new variations to mix it up with the pace and angle that creates doubt for any batsman. For any legspinner you already have three to four variations so there is no point adding new variations. You can mix it up with the pace and angle.
Does life become easier if you have Yuzvendra Chahal bowling from the other end?
(Laughs!) Of course bowling in pairs makes life easier. Be it any format. When you bowl in partnerships it becomes very dangerous for any opponent. If Chahal is bowling from the other end and I am bowling from this end it creates a lot of impact on the other team as well. And of course I like it if Chahal is bowling from the other end.
Were the preparations in place for the T20 World Cup? You will enjoy bowling in Australia considering the conditions there.
The preparation was in place but Covid 19 is all over the world so let’s see what happens. We are just hoping for better times. And talking about Australia the wickets are really good there and any spinner would like to bowl there. Plus the boundaries are quite big. The wickets will offer lot of bounce as well. I’ve played Test matches and T20Is there and have bowled well. I know how to bowl there. Will be good to play the T20 World Cup in Australia if it goes through.
What’s your favourite mode of dismissal and why?
Favourite mode of wicket is the stumping. In that you try to deceive the batsman in the air. That’s what I like the most. And probably clean bowled as well.
Who is the toughest batsman to bowl to in the nets?
Toughest batsman in the nets is Cheteshwar Pujara I guess. He plays very well against any offspinner, especially in Test cricket. And in ODI format it is Rohit Sharma. Of course there are plenty of youngsters as well. They aren’t afraid of going for the big shots. So everyone is good. But Pujara in Tests is really difficult to bowl to.
Lastly, on a lighter note, give us one reason why left-arm wrist spinners are the coolest compared to other types of bowlers?
When I started playing cricket there were hardly any left-arm wrist spinners. But now you can see there are plenty of chinaman spinners. In every academy you will find two to three. Of course it’s a very different art and difficult to bowl so yes maybe they are the coolest, I guess.
Glenn McGrath exclusive: ‘I hate seeing express pacers trade speed for control’
Anirudh Suresh,Aakash Sivasubramaniam
‘Dravid Sir suggested the switch from batter to a spinner’: Shreyas Gopal
Decoded: India's unceremonious spin conundrum
Repetitious, yet effective: The significance of left-arm spin in T20 cricket
Courage precedes skill to be a successful leg spinner in T20 cricket – Ish Sodhi
I have loved kind of the challenges evolving as a player: Ellyse Perry
There is no secret that I look up to Jadeja: Ashton Agar
Playing Test cricket is still the ultimate goal: Adam Zampa
Women's IPL will be immense for the growth of cricket in India: Shikha Pandey