A few years ago, when Kuldeep Yadav got clobbered in white ball cricket, everyone told him what his problem was: slower through the air and the lack of pace off the surface to trouble batters. But no one told the 29-year-old left-arm wrist spinner what was the solution to that problem even as he sustained a serious knee injury during the COVID-19-hit IPL in the UAE in 2020. Asked how he increased the pace on his deliveries, which has helped him become India’s most consistent ODI bowler in the past 18 months, Kuldeep gave a very interesting but tongue-in-cheek answer.
“Everyone told me my deliveries required pace but no one told me how to do it,” Kuldeep, who got the wickets of David Warner and Glenn Maxwell in India’s World Cup opener against Australia, said in a matter-of-fact manner.
Kuldeep’s tweak in action is a self-taught one but a tip from former Team India physio Ashish Kaushik did help when he was about to start his rehab post knee surgery.
“Once I was coming back from injury, it was physio Ashish Kaushik who advised that the load on my right leg should be less.
“Post rehab, I implemented that in my training and then in match situations and I felt the difference. It didn’t happen overnight though. It took around six months to get the rhythm back,” he recollected his comeback journey.
The Chepauk track was tacky at best and it offered turn and there was a query if one really needs to give the ball a rip when there is help on offer from the track.
“Important aspect on a turner is the speed at which the ball turns. At times there are slow turners, important is to vary pace,” he said.
Was it a slow turner on Sunday? he was quizzed.
“I don’t think so, but yes, I had to increase the pace of my deliveries. For example, Glenn Maxwell didn’t get time and if you saw how Smith got bowled (to Jadeja). So, along with turn, pace on deliveries also become important,” the man from Kanpur explained.
When asked if three spinners is the way forward in the tournament, Kuldeep said he wasn’t really sure if that’s how it would be.
“Not sure about the entire tournament, but over the years, we have seen you can play with three spinners in Chennai,” he said.
He felt that Maxwell bowled well but didn’t have much support from Adam Zampa at the other end.
“If other team had three quality spinners, it would have been difficult for us as a batting unit as well. I think Maxwell bowled well but he didn’t have support from the other end.
“In ODI format, you need to keep hitting the stumps and it’s important for any spinner. It’s okay to bowl a bit wide in Tests,” said Kuldeep.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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