Kuldeep Yadav has only started his international career. A solitary test match and two ODI’s under his name is too early to comment on his future. However, left arm Chinaman is a rare breed in cricketing world which makes him stand out from the crowd.
Like many other young kids, he started his career as a left-arm pacer but Coach Kapil Pandey saw something unique in Kuldeep and persuaded him to bowl left-arm wrist spin. Though reluctantly, the change was accepted, and Kuldeep adapted to it wonderfully well by developing subtle variations to outfox the opposition batsman.
A wrist spinner needs patience along with plenty of practice to keep putting balls in right areas. As a wrist spinner, the risk-reward ratio is very high and one must not be disheartened if he leaks a few extra runs. That’s where a good captain and mentor can differentiate an individual from an average spinner to the world beater. Kuldeep seems to have been in good company as he has shown the right attitude of going for the wickets without being too bothered about runs conceded.
After an indifferent start to his under-19 career, he has been in the spotlight ever since as he was spotted by Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Though his talent impressed everyone in the Mumbai setup, the coaching staff felt he needs a little more time before he can be handed a debut.
IPL experience made Kuldeep richer in experience and also made him realize the need of better fitness. Consequently, Yadav started putting in extra effort to get fitter and stronger. A successful stint with the under-19 team gave the Kanpur kid enough self-belief to prosper at the international stage. Picked for Kolkata Knight Riders in CLT20, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
In a short international career, he has already shown glimpses of his talent by troubling Australia on a Day-1 pitch in his test debut at the picturesque HPCA stadium at Dharamshala. With world cup still a couple of years away, the selectors rightly thought of giving this youngster a chance to perform in the limited overs cricket. With the first match washed out due to rain in the ongoing one day series against Australia, Kuldeep did not disappoint the team management’s belief by scalping 3 important wickets in 2nd match of his career. The manner in which he bamboozled west-Indians should give a lot of confidence to the Indian Captain.
When teams select spinners of unusual styles, they often do it because of the mystery. Apart from South African Tabraiz Shamshi and Lakshan Sandakan of Srilanka, there is no one with similar skill set playing international cricket presently. In the past too, it was a scarce commodity as not many possessed this art except Brad Hogg and Michael Bevan.
Yadav brings something different to the table and will remain an unknown entity for some time. If he can keep his head calm and conducts himself well, the future must be great.
Being different is not bad at all, it makes him special!