2023 has seen Indian cricket’s lost talent in Kuldeep Yadav come back to roaring form. The 28 year old who picked a five wicket haul on his comeback to test cricket in 2022 was dropped for the next test. Despite his disappointments in the longer format of the game, Kuldeep Yadav has been India’s trump card in the white ball format. The left arm wrist spinner was again the star bowler during the 1st T20 against West Indies on Friday.
When a former selector turned savior –
Sunil Joshi is a name not many of the current avid cricket fans may know. The former left arm spinner was a huge part of the Indian team from 1996 to 2001. Joshi, played for Karnataka till 2009 before calling it quits post the Ranji Final in 2009. Sunil Joshi, then became the Indian selector and recently spoke to Indian Express where he had his say on the return to form of Kuldeep Yadav.
Sunil Joshi said “I was part of the selection committee when Kuldeep Yadav got dropped. Who came to the rescue? None of the coaching staff, I was the one who got his delivery stride shorter, front arm better, arm speed better, got him to rip more revolutions on the ball,"
Turning heads and gaining attention from Ravi Shastri –
It was under Ravi Shastri that Kuldeep Yadav took his first 5 wicket haul in test cricket in early 2019. The game at SCG saw the then 24 year old fox the Australians in front of the late spin wizard Shane Warne himself. It took nearly two years for Kuldeep Yadav to play a test match with Shastri still at the helm of affairs.
Further speaking to Indian Express, Sunil Joshi, said how even Ravi Shastri was surprised by the meteoric turnaround of Kuldeep Yadav. Joshi said “Suddenly, everybody is talking about Kuldeep Yadav. Ravi Shastri asked Sunil, what have you done with Kuldeep? I said, 'Ravi bhai I have not done anything special. These are the simple things that a bowling coach should be doing'. If you look at Kuldeep 2.0, his front arm is nice toward the target, his bowling arm is towards the target, he is running towards the target. Shorter stride, there is a free follow through, he has got quicker through the air. You look at the way he is bowling now”
Turning it around in 2023 –
After playing 17 games between 2020 to 2022, Kuldeep has already played 11 ODI games this year in 2023. The 28 year old has picked 22 wickets with an economy rate of 4.88 which is on par when he made his ODI debut in 2017. His best of 4/6 came against West Indies recently in the 1st ODI at Barbados. Kuldeep has not only been miserly but also has been outfoxing the best in the business with his flight and guile.
Chance to spearhead the Indian attack in 2023 World Cup –
Kuldeep Yadav played 7 games during the 2019 ODI world cup in England and picked 6 wickets before he was dropped for the Semi-Finals. His current form will be a boost for Rohit Sharma and the Indian team management. The fans will be hoping for Kuldeep to not only spearhead the spin attack. The fans will also hope Kuldeep can keep this groove and help them win the World Cup and achieve more success in the years to come.