Very few know that Kuldeep Yadav was an aspiring left-arm fast bowler who dreamt of becoming the next Zaheer Khan for India. But soon, Kuldeep and his coach Kapil Pandey realized that his talent did not lie in pace bowling. As a result, he was asked to take up a rare form of spin bowling – slow left-arm unorthodox, or chinaman.
And since then, there was no looking back. The youngster went on to win matches for both his IPL team – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as well as India. He was as good as a mystery spinner – a chinaman bowler whom batsmen were finding pretty challenging to read.
The left-armer enjoyed a dream Test debut against Australia at Dharamsala in 2017. He came up with brilliant figures of 4/68 in the first innings of the fourth and final Test match. David Warner was his first Test wicket.
But of late, Kuldeep seems to have lost a bit of his magic. In 2017-18, he was at his best, picking up two wickets per game at an average of 20.07. But his bowling figures in 2019, though not bad, can be termed as slightly ‘less impactful’ as compared to his golden period.
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels there’s nothing much to worry. Once you start playing more matches as a bowler, batsmen tend to figure out how to put you under pressure.
Batters have started using their feet against him or are playing the sweep shot very well off his bowling. Experienced Zak gives young Yadav some useful tips on how to re-invent his bowling action.
Here’s the video –
Former India cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra said that Kuldeep Yadav was more effective in home games rather than away matches at the moment.
That may be one of the reasons why India have preferred Yuzvendra Chahal over him in recent times.