Kuldeep Yadav is confident of being in the reckoning for a place in the main Indian team if he fares well in the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. With Team India currently in England ahead of their five-Test series against the hosts, a new-look Indian team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, recently reached Colombo. They are undergoing quarantine before taking on the Lankans in three ODIs and three T20Is.
After bursting onto the scene with impressive performances, Kuldeep has seen his stock nosedive over the last two years. With the T20 World Cup around the corner, the spinner will be keen to put in some influential displays for both India and his IPL franchise, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
In an interaction with The Telegraph, Kuldeep Yadav said:
“This Sri Lanka tour is very, very important because, first of all, I’m not a part of the Test squad (in England). And secondly, this is one good opportunity to play and perform. Thereafter, we’ve got the IPL as well, which gives me another opportunity to be back in the reckoning.”
The left-arm spinner also spoke about his chances of being part of Team India’s T20 World Cup squad:
“Nothing parallels performance, and if I perform, I know I’ll definitely be back, honestly, I’m not thinking much about a T20 World Cup berth now because it eventually boils down to how well I keep doing. There’s healthy competition in the squad, so I know what my job is.”
Work hard 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kKhmiD3PDl— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) June 26, 2021
Kuldeep Yadav last played for India in an ODI encounter against England in March. He conceded 84 runs in his quota of 10 overs without taking a wicket. The spinner was then subsequently dropped for the third ODI against the same opponents.
“I speak to Narendra Hirwani a lot regarding the mental aspect” – Kuldeep Yadav
Travel day 🇱🇰✈️✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/6VDoOutwRz— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) June 28, 2021
Kuldeep Yadav is yet to feature for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 14th edition of the IPL, which was suspended midway through the season. Following the suspension of IPL 2021, the 26-year-old started working on his bowling. He also had discussions with his personal coach Kapil Pandey, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri and India bowling coach Bharat Arun.
Kuldeep also revealed that he is in touch with former Indian leg spinner Narendra Hirwani, with whom he often talks about the mental aspects of the game. He added:
“Hirwani sir is mentally very strong. It’s not necessary that you should be told only about bowling and stuff related to it, your mindset matters too. So I speak to him a lot also regarding the mental aspect and it helps me
Team India have picked a healthy number of spin options for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, starting on 13th July. With the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya and Varun Chakravarthy also in the squad, Kuldeep will have his work cut out.
Indians to bowl most balls in T20Is (But never bowled no ball)— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) June 28, 2021
1034 – Bhuvneshwar kumar
621 – Washington Sundar
453 – Kuldeep Yadav
398 – Krunal Pandya
349 – Suresh Raina