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‘Aggressive’ Kuldeep is vital cog in India’s 2019 wheel

CENTURION: Kuldeep Yadav is learning the tricks of his trade in the most natural way. He’s bowling to the Indian top-order in the nets, and what better way for the 23-year-old to learn then bowling to the likes of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane?

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“It gets a little easier to bowl if you know someone like Ajinkya,” he says.

For a boy from Kanpur who started out as a fast bowler before realising that left-arm wrist-spin — still a very uncommon bowling style — had to be the way forward, learning the ropes quickly isn’t a new thing.

Street-smartness comes relatively easily to Kanpurias – a term used for those who hail from Kanpur — and spending a bit of a time with Kuldeep suggests he’s not the one to get left behind.

The 41st over is in progress, it’s a small ground, there’s a partnership going and he’s been hit for a six. Any spinner would tend to bowl flatter but not Kuldeep. He went slower and flighted higher. A risk-taker’s move.

Eventually Morris offered his wicket to Kuldeep off a full-toss, trying to slog. The bowling action, along with an aggressive mindset to bowl for wickets and not to contain, marks Yadav out as different.

“Daalte ja. Che ball lagenge inko samajhne mein (keep bowling. It’ll take them six balls to understand),” shouted MS Dhoni from behind the wickets. Kuldeep smiled.

“Actually I was confused a bit what I should bowl. Because I am playing in South Africa for first time. The wind was good and the ball was drifting, so I was asking Mahi bhai (MS) and he told just keep bowling,” says Kuldeep.
Between Kohli, Rahane and Dhoni, the bowler does enjoy a good deal of confidence in the shorter formats, and bowling coach Bharat Arun has spent considerable amount of time with the young spinner right from the days of the junior circuit.
The mindset to stay aggressive, says Yadav, comes from Kohli. The bowler is convinced the skipper alone is the motivation. “The way Virat bhai talks, he tells us one extra wicket is more important than trying to save 10 runs. If your captain tells you that, then you start believing. We back our strengths.”.
In the road to 2019, Kuldeep is certain to remain a vital cog in the Indian ODI wheel.
Source : timesofindia



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