Kuldeep Yadav was a mystery spinner when he first played Indian Premier League (IPL) and international cricket. The chinaman bowlers are extremely rare in cricket and when India found one, it was important that he got perfect guidance to keep improving. And none other than Gautam Gambhir did that job well after the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) picked Kuldeep in the 2016 IPL season.
Though the spinner played only in three matches, he only kept evolving and his strong performances at the domestic level meant, the youngster made his international debut in March 2017. Speaking of his earlier stint with the franchise, Kuldeep Yadav recalled the way Gautam Gambhir, the then KKR captain, used to speak to him every now and then and motivate him.
He also went on to say Gambhir’s confidence in him translated into good performances and added that the former cricketer turned politician has continued to talk to him even after leaving the KKR. “Gauti bhai had a huge influence on me from the start of my stint at KKR. He always spoke to me a lot. Not only during the time he was at KKR, but even after that, over these last two years.
“He always kept me motivated. When you get that kind of confidence from your captain, it becomes a huge plus point for any player. It helps you remain confident, and that translates into good performances,” the 25-year-old was quoted as saying by the KKR’s official website.
Wasim sir used to prepare me mentally for the game, says Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav also highlighted Wasim Akram‘s importance in his career stating that the latter used to work on the mental aspect of his game. He also added that the former Pakistan cricketer also had a huge influence on him at the start of his career.
“Wasim sir used to like me a lot too. He didn’t speak much about bowling, but he prepared me a lot in terms of mentally taking on the game. He prepared me to take on different situations in different ways, and taught me how to react when batsmen put you under pressure. So apart from Gauti bhai, he was someone who had a big influence on me during those early years. He also has a very good sense of humour, so it was great having him around,” he further said.
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