Kuldeep Yadav: India’s fastest improving all format bowler. - SportsGuru

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Kuldeep Yadav: India’s fastest improving all format bowler.

Kuldeep wasn’t playing that game but he was chalking out the entrapment script and thus factoring in the variables like breeze. It’s the way I always watch games when I’m not playing. Physically I might not be there, but mentally I am there, bowling uninterrupted for the entire day, fully switched on and aware, he says. It’s been more than two months since that Test but those memories are fresh in the mind of the chinaman bowler, who is now preparing for the ODI series against Australia.

For a spinner, the mind is the most important thing, it should never be idle, but always fresh, always thinking. So whoever is actually bowling in the middle, be it Jasprit (Bumrah) or Ashwin bhai, I just imagine myself to be bowling at the batsmen, the things I would do, how I would look to get him out and how he would try to play me. And then I try to figure out the plans of Jasprit and Ashwin, who are very different bowlers.

Australian skipper Tim Paine would attest. During the final Test in Sydney, when Kuldeep finally got a chance to be in playing XI, he was ready. Those long hours of strategising while in the dressing room had paid off. Kuldeep had Paine’s stumps disarrayed by a delivery that turned like a top.

So every time, he came to bat, in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, he would imagine setting him up with that delivery. And when the opportunity knocked in Sydney, the dream played out as a reality. All it required was seven deliveries — the seventh, a classical chinaman delivery, one that hung for an eternity in the air, then dipped alarmingly and barged through the enormous space between his bat and pad. Then that’s the visual trickery of flight and dip.

Happy as Kuldeep was, he also felt a touch deficient, because Paine fell for the bait all too easily, just when the kick of out-thinking a batsman was kicking in. The more you work on dismissing a batsman, the happier you get. 

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