Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kuldeep Yadav: In my childhood, I used to bowl on cement wickets

Kuldeep Yadav bowls during his debut Test against Australia at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala early in the year. Pic/PTI
Kuldeep Yadav bowls during his debut Test against Australia at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala early in the year. Pic/PTI

On a belter of a batting pitch in Galle, India beat Sri Lanka by 303 runs. On a dry surface with turn and variable bounce, India won by an innings and 53 runs at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. Just what do the hosts do now, in the final Test, in Pallekele, beginning on August 12?

Well, with Rangana Herath rested, the one world class bowler in the Sri Lankan unit is off duty. This could well be a blessing in disguise for it opens up the possibility of Lakshan Sandakan, the left arm wrist spinner playing. And, similarly, Ravindra Jadeja's suspension for accumulated demerit points suggests that India will give Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman bowler, his second Test, even as Axar Patel joined the team.

The question of pitch preparation will weigh on the minds of Dinesh Chandimal, the captain, and the Sri Lankan think tank, but Kuldeep certainly wasn't losing any sleep on this count.

Pitch doesn't matter
"For me the wicket doesn't matter. I don't see the wicket at all. In childhood I used to bowl on cement wickets and there can be no better wickets [for batting] than cement wickets," said Kuldeep in Kandy on Wednesday. "It is challenging because there is more bounce on grassy wickets and the ball skids a lot as well. spinners get some advantage as well even if there is not much turn."

One of the reasons for this confidence, besides the exuberance of youth, is the faith Virat Kohli has placed in Kuldeep. "Obviously if the captain believes in you then you have done half your work. Captain's belief is very important and Virat bhai supports me a lot," said Kuldeep.

Also Read: Jadeja has done well, but biggest test at Australia, South Africa left: Nari Contractor

Captain's support
"He supported me completely in the West Indies and the way he talks to the players on the ground, the way he spoke to me in the ODIs, it felt very nice because captain's confidence is the biggest thing for a player."

And while Kuldeep admitted that he was "excited" about the possibility of playing, he also conceded that he was "nervous" about just how well he would be able to perform. This shows that while he enjoys playing, he also cares about his contribution, which is just what you want to see in a young player.

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