He is considered to be one of the finest talents of World Cricket. He has already left an impact with the ball, with 23 wickets in 11 international outings for India. Kuldeep Yadav, the Chinaman Spinner, in an interview with the CricketSoccer before he joined the India camp for ODI series against Australia, told how he has to fight with himself and how Captain Virat Kohli uses to encourage him on the field.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: You took the wicket of David Warner thrice out of the five matches you played against him, including IPL. Is it going to be your mental advantage this time also?
Kuldeep Yadav: Yes I have bowled against him with much success. I know what is his weakness and how he can attack me. That will definitely help me. But at the same time, he also knows my style of bowling pretty well. He knows what exactly I can do with the ball. So it will be an even battle. I have a good record against him. Hope to capitalize on that.
CS: What should be the approach of a bowler while bowling against the likes of Warner and Steve Smith, who like to attack and play aggressively?
KY: You have to keep cool. That should be the basic idea. Look, if you are bowling to an aggressive batsman, there is every possibility that you are being hit for a few boundaries or over boundaries. But you should not come under pressure. It should be seen as a good sign because when you are attacked by a batsman, there is a high chance that you end up taking his wicket. So you have to stick to the basics and keep bowling on a particular line and length and just wait for a proper opportunity.
CS: Who could be the most dangerous batsmen for Australia?
KY: There are many. Australia is a very strong team. They have a number of match winners in their side. Batsmen like David Warner, Steve Smith, Glen Maxwell or Aaron Finch can single-handedly win matches. So you have to be consistent with your line and length.
CS: Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal have become your toughest competitor in terms of getting a go in the playing eleven in absence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravinder Jadeja. Your thought.
KY: I don’t think I have any competition with them. We are good friends both on and off the field. We have same object: to contribute to the team’s cause. That’s what every Indian cricketer try to do. I don’t believe in any competition. My biggest competitor is hidden within me. I have to fight with my own self to bring out the best every time I take the field.
CS: You have been in and out of the playing eleven. Does it create more pressure on you?
KY: If you want to get success in international cricket, you have to adapt to all situations. It’s not that I don’t want to play all the matches. But the team’s strategy must get the priority. If the team management thinks that I don’t suit their plan, they may drop me. Same is applicable for everybody I suppose. It’s not added pressure on me. Rather, it shows that I have to work harder to cement my place in the playing eleven.
CS: Both Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have been very supportive to you. Could you please explain.
KY: Virat Bhai is phenomenal. He is such a captain who always leads from the front. He gives me complete liberty with the ball on the field. He just tells me to bowl to my strength and strategy. He wants to know what should be the field placement when I bowl. It gives a lot of confidence in me. If your captain shows faith in your ability, you must shine on the field.
Ravi Bhai does the same thing. He is a great motivator. He can easily take the best out of any cricketer. It’s because of him and Virat Paaji that I am doing well.
CS: What could be the result of the India-Australia series? Do India have the upper hand?
KY: We are playing on home soil. So we obviously have the edge. But Australia is a very strong team. They will fight it hard. I can not predict the result. But it will be a hard fought series for sure.