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I never liked spin and always wanted to be a fast bowler: Kuldeep Yadav

Indian cricketer Kuldeep Yadav has opened on his journey from being a fast bowler to a spinner. Kuldeep, who currently bowls Chinaman (left-arm orthodox spin), made an interesting revelation that he could swing the ball both ways at a very young age and as a result wanted to be a fast bowler. However, that didn’t contribute to any growth in his career and as a result, he had to take up bowling spin, with wrist spin coming naturally to him.

“Fast bowling appeared easy back then. I think I was good at fast bowling. Even my coach used to feel the same because my wrist would work well.

I could swing the ball both ways even at the age of 10-11 years. But the hurdle was my lack of growth. So he asked me to switch to spin bowling,” said Kuldeep in a video posted by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on their official Twitter handle.

“I was initially very displeased because I never liked spin and always wanted to be a fast bowler. I was angry, but when he told me to bowl spin, I tried and started off bowling Chinaman in the very first attempt,” said the Uttar Pradesh cricketer.

He added, “I was very angry and didn’t go to the ground for ten days, as I was determined to continue with fast bowling. But Sir said if I really wanted to play cricket and come to the ground, I had to take up spin bowling. So I went back to the academy after ten days.”

It has been some time since the 26-year-old donned the whites for India. He last played a Test match during Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19 Down Under in the final Test at SCG, where he tore through the Aussie tail-end and eventually bagged a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

He was a part of the Indian squad in the concluded series against Australia but wasn’t picked in the final XI throughout. In the only ODI that he played on the tour, Kuldeep, in the third match of the series at Manuka Oval, finished with figures of 1/57. In T20Is, he made his last appearance in the home T20I series against Sri Lanka at the start of 2020, picking 2 wickets at an average of 19.00.

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Overall, he has made just six Test appearances and has picked 24 wickets at an average of 24.13, including 2 four-fers and as many five-fers, with best figures in an innings as 5/57.

In ODIs, he has scalped 105 wickets in 65 matches at an impressive average of 26.46, including 5 five-wicket hauls. And in 21 T20 Internationals that he has played, Kuldeep has picked 39 wickets at a jaw-dropping average of 13.76, including 2 five-fers and an economy rate of 7.11.

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He had a hard time with the ball in the last two editions in IPL. In 2019, he could pick only 4 wickets in 9 matches at an economy of 8.67, while in 2020, amidst the conditions of UAE, he mustered only a solitary wicket in 5 matches at an economy of 7.67.

Kuldeep is likely to be seen in action in the upcoming 4-match Test series against England. He has been named in India’s 18-man squad for the first two Tests, set to commence on February 5 in Chennai.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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