Kuldeep Yadav Background & Early Life.
Born in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh on December 14, 1994. Kuldeep Yadav’s father is a brick kiln owner and mother a homemaker. His height is 1.68 m and age 25 years as now.
Kuldeep Yadav was a meritious student. Sporting and spirited, as we often are in playing a game among friends, he played as left-arm medium-pace bowler among his playing circle. However, his play sparked in an inclination in his father that he take up cricket seriously, as a career. Kuldeep was thereon enrolled in an academy in Kanpur under coach Kapil Pandey.
Unique Bowling Type
Over a time his coach figured to five a greater momentum in Kuldeep’s cricketing life he ought to be better trained unto a spin bowler as he had shown tremendous turn during practice.
The pace of this ambitious but slightly built left-arm medium pace was honed into a spin bowling cricketer. One whose spring and sprite of a pace bowler, the delivery stride was remodeled into a spinner’s run-up. What fueled the transformation was the fact that Kuldeep Yadav idolized Aussie great Shane Warne. He would watch his videos and try to learn from his guile.
A quick stride at the crease, the guile in his variations delivered with the swing of the left hand. His coach had embraced him to a unique bowling action. Something that was a rarity to this soil but he stood out as India’s First Chinaman Bowler in 85 years.
Kuldeep Yadav Early Cricket Years
Kuldeep found a place in the U-19 team though could not secure a place in the world cup bound team. The resolute bowler worked up his way up to eventually be a part of the 2014 U-19, ICC Junior World Cup. And he lit the tournament with his bowling on display, claiming a hat-trick against Scotland. He finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament that has been the stepping stone for many a cricketer in the country to be elevated to the senior team.
It didn’t take long for Kuldeep as his performances at the domestic level as well the Indian Premier League (IPL) brought him to reckoning. Inducted in Uttar Pradesh’s state team for Duleep trophy, he had 17 wickets from 3 outings in the tournament.
Kuldeep’s success with his unique action and artistry of spin bowling had increasingly inclined the selectors to trail his performance. He had grabbed eyeballs, awe, and appreciation for his craft in his stint with his IPL team.
Debut In Senior India Team
He was given included in the team for the home series against Australia played in March 2017. Kuldeep was in the playing eleven for the fourth and final test played at Dharamsala. For his first test appearance, representing the country he received his Team India Cap from India’s legendary Leg spinner, Anil Kumble, who was also the coach of the team at the time.
Much was anticipated from the chinaman bowler who delivered, scalping Aussie opener David Warner for his first test wicket. Next up was Glen Maxwell, a centurion in the previous test. Both outfoxed to have the timber disturbed. Kuldeep finished with four wickets to his name on his test debut as he led the team off the field after tea, at the end of Australia’s innings on day one.
Convinced about his skills he was ushered into the ODI team and made himself count. He made his ODI debut against West Indies in June 2017.
In the same year of his ODI debut, Kuldeep took a hat-trick against the Aussies at the ODI staged at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Thus becoming only the third bowler in the country to record an ODI hat-trick to his name after Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma took one 30 years back.
His T20I debut followed in the T20 internationals that were played after the ODI series.
On July 3rd, 2018 by claiming a five-wicket haul against England he added another feather to his cap. He became only the first left-arm wrist spinner to claim a five-wicket haul in T20I. ODI series against the same rivals began ominously as Kuldeep scalped another five-for in the first ODI played on July 12th, 2018. In fact his 6/25 were the best bowling figures displayed by a spinner in England.
In the first test against the visiting Windies, he marked his first five-wicket landmark in test matches. Thereby became only the second bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar to claim a five-wicket haul in all the formats of the game. To add glitter to the sheen Kuldeep had earned it in just over a year of being drafted into the senior side.
It was the 2019 ODI series against the visiting West Indies. The second match played on December 18, 2019, Kuldeep claimed the second ODI hat-trick of his career and thus became the only Indian with 2 ODI hat-tricks to his name.
Kuldeep Yadav and Virat Kohli
Kuldeep attributes a lot of his success to Captain Kohli.
At the press conference later on the day of his Test debut against Australia, he heaped praise on Virat Kohli who had to opt-out of the match due to injury. Kuldeep had replaced him in the team in that test. And the then stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane, had chosen to go in with five bowlers. Kohli, in fact, kept bucking up the chinaman spinner from the sidelines and had even walked in with the drinks!
“He reminded me of our plans and how to go about it. There cannot be anything better for a player than your captain motivating you so much even when he is not playing,”
In an interview to news18.com he acknowledged the grateful support Captain had held him in:
“He [Virat Kohli] kept speaking to me and calming me down. I was desperate to play for the country and often you lose the plot and get overawed by the situation. After all, it was a dream I was realizing. But Virat bhai kept asking me to enjoy the moment and not think too much about the situation. He kept asking me to focus on my strengths and bowl in the right areas. It was a good feeling to have him egg you on from the sidelines,”
His success graph soared higher when the team toured South Africa for 3 tests and 6 match ODI series. He did outstandingly well in the limited-overs format. His deft turners, googly among a platter of variations served at the South African bats flummoxed them to not only dry up the runs but lose their wickets to his craft. He finished with 17 wickets to his credit in the ODI series.
Included to play in the fourth test against Australia on their home soil, Kuldeep turned his arm claiming 5/99 at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground and helped bundle out Aussies for 300 against a humungous 622/7 declared by India. Rain and bad light prevented what would have been an enticing second innings for the match that declared a draw.
Babar Azam’s Wicket At ICC World Cup’19
India’s high voltage clash with arch-rivals at the prestigious ICC World Cup 2019, was turned on its head by this wily spinner. Pakistan, chasing were cruising at 117-1, at 23.5 overs, when Kuldeep struck. He in a sheer display of spin wizardry spun the leather cherry profusely and at a length that snared from the batsman the time to react. The ball went through the seasoned Babar Azam’s defenses and crashed onto his stumps. He followed up with another scalp of the settled Fakhar Zaman in his next over to reduce Pak to 126-3, triggering their downslide. He recalls that to be among his best ball in the tournament.
Watch how Kuldeep flummoxed Pak’s batting mainstay in the match at ICC World Cup 2019 as well what he had to say post the match about that wicket.
2019 was also a year that batsmen across started decoding him. And then that’s the story of every cricketer. with footage and technology available everyone is trying to observe and understand what kind of approach a bowler has. And despite taking the pressure of being hit for runs, Kuldeep responded by evolving his variations, fortifying in his mind and strategizing for games. He shared his mind in the post-match press conference after India -Sri Lanka series. Watch the video here, (source: Cricbuzz.com)
Kuldeep is such a special asset to the team who has in his repertoire of skills to pick wickets when the captain throws the ball to him. Situations that warrant an imminent wicket, to break a partnership that’s carried long, to snare wickets and pressurize the opposition under a loss of wickets, to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs, Kuldeep has often turned the game in India’s favor. Though his statistics have tapered off just a little in the last 12 months he remains a potent match-winner for India in all formats. A never-say-die attitude and the zest to learn, strategize and be better is spoken by him as in:
A look at Kuldeep Yadav’s career stats since his famous debut:
Kuldeep Yadav Batting