- Kuldeep Yadav
- Current Team
|FULL NAME||Kuldeep Yadav|
|BORN||December 14, 1994 |
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
|AGE||24 Years, 2 Months, 12 Days|
|BATTING STYLE||Left Handed|
|BOWLING||Slow left-arm chinaman|
|BATTING RANK||Test – NA, ODI – NA, T20I – NA, IPL – NA, CL – NA|
|BOWLING RANK||Test – 43, ODI – 4, T20I – 2, IPL – NA, CL – NA|
|TEAMS PLAYED||India, Central Zone, India A, India Red, Rest of India, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, India Under-19, Uttar Pradesh|
|MAN OF THE MATCH||Test – 0, ODI – 2, T20I – 4, IPL – 1, CL – 1,|
|CAREER SPAN||[Test, 2017 – 2019], [ODI, 2017 – 2019], [T20I, 2017 – 2019], [IPL, 2016 – 2018], [CL, 2014],|
A left-handed batsman and a slow left-arm chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav is a rare find who hails from the state of Uttar Pradesh. He has represented his state in the Under-15, Under-16 and Under-19 level.
Yadav was one of the five uncapped players to have been included in the Mumbai Indians squad for the fifth season of the Indian T20 League in 2012 but didn’t play a single game. He featured in the India U-19 team in the 2014 U-19 World Cup which was eventually won by South Africa. He signed up for the Kolkata franchise for the 2014 edition of the Indian T20 League.
A dewy-eyed aspiring left-arm fast bowler with a build ill-suited for the job joined an academy in Kanpur with big dreams of becoming the next Zaheer Khan for India. After a considerable period of time, Kuldeep and his coach Kapil Pandey realized that his talents did not align with the task. Consequently, he was advised to take Robert Frost’s ‘road less traveled’ – slow left-arm unorthodox, or chinaman.
Kuldeep, a rare breed of chinaman bowlers in the modern day, had revived the art out of its grave along with a handful of other young chinamen. He set the 2014 Under-19 World Cup alight by becoming India’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament, adding the distinction of becoming the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in the history of the tournament, considered to be a watershed for the Indian youth and started to attract the eye of the selectors.
Yadav was handed an Indian Premier League contract in 2012 by the Mumbai Indians, but he failed to make the playing XI in his debut season, despite making headlines for beating Sachin Tendulkar with his googly in the nets. He was transferred to the Kolkata Knight Riders two years later but still failed to play a game.
Nevertheless, as the franchise searched for more varied options, Yadav was the perfect ‘secret weapon’ to unleash upon the unsuspecting opponents. Yadav was finally handed his IPL debut and played three matches and provided a Return on Investment of six wickets at 16.67 apiece. With regard to his potential, Kuldeep was given more exposure in the 2016 Duleep Trophy and he once again bamboozled the clueless batsmen. The chinaman ended the tournament with 17 wickets in three matches and played a major role in leading his side to the final of the tournament – a commendable feat for an alleged rookie.
Despite getting limited opportunities, Kuldeep’s traditional guile and equally unconventional style was now gaining recognition at the national level and he had delivered enough performances of substance to get a call-up to the Indian squad for the home Tests against Australia in 2017. He was handed the coveted Test cap by wrist spin wizard Anil Kumble in Dharamsala. Replacing Virat Kohli (Rahane went with a 5-bowler strategy) the young blood comprehensively foxed the experienced Australian batsmen, who were clearly caught by surprise by the selection. Yadav finished with four wickets on debut, laying the platform for a decisive Indian win as the Border-Gavaskar trophy returned to India.
Yadav didn’t have to wait too long for his ODI call-up, making his first pajama appearance during the tour of West Indies in mid-2017. He was the joint highest wicket-taker on this tour and was shockingly overlooked for the first three ODIs in Sri Lanka. He made a return in the final two matches and the subsequent Australia series, in which he made a statement (albeit metaphorically) that dropping him was a mistake, with a hat-trick against the Aussies; the first for India in ODIs since Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma, more than 2 decades previously.
Although not the world’s fittest athlete, Kuldeep is an evolved bowler who has learned the tricks of the trade and has exhibited his application extremely well, especially in the ODI leg of the tour of South Africa in early 2018, where he used his stock ball to good effect to run through one of the best limited-overs batting line-ups in the world, and also used his enigmatic googly sparingly such that even the most accomplished batsmen failed to pick his wrong’un from the hand. With the ability to deceive the batsmen in the air and above the eye level and the cunning ability to use the width of the crease, Kuldeep has all the elements to lead a potential chinaman revolution having resurrected a dying art; much like his blonde, scheming right-handed counterpart gave a new lease of life to his art in the early nineties…