After two years of hardly getting games, Kuldeep Yadav‘s career has witnessed a rejuvenation in IPL 2022 with the Delhi Capitals. Picked for ₹2 crore by Delhi Capitals, the chinaman bowler has impressed one and all with his stupendous show in this edition of the IPL and has picked up 17 wickets in nine matches. However, there was a period not too long ago when Kuldeep was struggling for self-confidence as he was being benched regularly for both India and his previous IPL side, Kolkata Knight Riders. It was a tough time for the 27-year-old, who is India’s only bowler to have claimed two hat-tricks as he was low on confidence. Kuldeep’s childhood coach Kapil Dev Pandey shed light on how the left-arm wrist-spinner wasn’t treated well during his time with KKR and how it impacted his performance. (Also Read: ‘The dressing room is negative, whole thing has run out of momentum’ – Pietersen slams KKR’s ‘horrible state of affairs’)
“Kuldeep was tense and asked me one thing two years back – ‘Sir, I put in a lot of hard work, I don’t miss a single net session but I am still not getting chances. What should I do? I said ‘just wait, your time will come soon’. That’s it. I told him to wait for his chance. In hindsight, that phase that he went through gave Kuldeep a lot of maturity and confidence. He is a fearless bowler now. He started playing domestic matches and Kanpur league games. He went back to the basics. He has now turned into a fearless and confident bowler,” Pandey told Times of India.
Pandey credits Kuldeep’s rise to the faith the Capitals management has shown in him, including coach Ricky Ponting and captain Rishabh Pant. Looking back at Kuldeep’s stay at KKR during the last two seasons, where he played just five matches in 2020 and did nit get a single game in 2021, Pandey feels it was a blessing for Kuldeep that KKR let him go.
“KKR did a very good thing by releasing Kuldeep. It worked really well in Kuldeep’s favour. If Kuldeep was there for one more season, he would have been severely diminished as a cricketer. They (KKR) retained him for one year and then didn’t give him chances, that was quite shocking,” the coach mentioned.
“When he was picked by DC in the last player auction (for his base price of ₹2 Crore), I told him not to see the price he was bought for. I just said – ‘You have got a wonderful team and set up and will get enough chances to showcase your talent’. He said – ‘I just want to perform in the IPL and want to make a comeback to the Indian team in all formats’. He was hungry for chances.”
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