NEW DELHI: The career of Kuldeep Yadav is already one of the most fascinating stories in Indian cricket. A trump card up until the 2019 World Cup, he fell off the radar of Indian team management and subsequently lost his place with the Kolkata Knight Riders as well.
This IPL season, in the colors of the Delhi Capitals, seems to have turned things around. It is evident that he is enjoying his cricket again. “I’m enjoying my bowling after a long time,” Kuldeep stated without apology during Wednesday’s post-game presentation.
The darkest period of his career became even darker when he suffered a horrific knee injury ahead of the second leg of the IPL in Dubai last year. However, the reversal came when the new team management under head coach Rahul Dravid and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey decided to bring him straight back into the White and Red Ball squads during the home season.
The idea was to listen to him, give him space and get him back into good mental space. Current team management did not want to address what previous management had said or dealt with Kuldeep. Dravid wanted to see firsthand what Kuldeep was going through and make sure the potential wasn’t missed.
He was kept in the team to give him confidence that he still belonged there and that could be translated by giving him an odd play. Bowling faster through the air was the only piece of cricket skill that was discussed with him.
Only the top 2⃣ bowlers on the Purple Cap list cheering for each other 🤩💪🏼𝗞𝘂𝗹-𝗖𝗵𝗮 facing each other tomorrow 👀… https://t.co/3gZ6NNSLak
– Capitals of Delhi (@DelhiCapitals) 1650543053000
And it continued at Capitals. “When he came to the Delhi Capitals setup he needed a lot of confidence. He hadn’t played last season and had a couple of bad seasons. Rishabh, myself and Ricky gave him confidence during the training games. He was told that.” will play all matches and he didn’t have to worry about the performances. Now he can fully concentrate on his bowling. When he takes wickets it makes it easier for me to bowl with him,” Axar Patel, a partner at Capitals, said Wednesday.
Kuldeep’s slide was widely linked to MS Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket. Dhoni’s input from behind the tree stumps had been critical to his growth. At Capitals he has found a mature Rishabh Pant leading the team behind the stumps. “Rishabh deserves a lot of credit for supporting me. The way he supports us bowlers, even when we’re making runs, is a huge asset. He always leads me to plan layoffs,” said Kuldeep.
DC guys on every award after a dominant win: 𝟕 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐢 𝐭𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐫 𝐩𝐚𝐥 🤩💙#YehHaiNayiDilli | #IPL2022 | #DCvPBKS |… https://t.co/VYA5ZAayXu
– Capitals of Delhi (@DelhiCapitals) 1650525572000
Delhi Capitals and Team India management have brought him back to a happy place. Thinking about his cricket has faded into the background. “I don’t watch videos now because I played all these batters. If you are very confused, watch videos to see what a batter might do. I just focus on how I’m feeling,” he said.
While his good pal Yuzvendra Chahal is building his reputation as the top wrist spinner after claiming 17 wickets as the highest wicket taker so far, Kuldeep has cleverly moved up to second place with 13 wickets.
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