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I always attack and look to take wickets: Kuldeep Yadav ahead of 4th ODI vs Sri Lanka

If Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli picks Kuldeep Yadav ahead of Axar Patel or Yuzvendra Chahal, the Chinaman bowler would have the honour of playing in MS Dhoni’s 300th ODI and that excites the 22-year-old

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 29, 2017 19:42 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
India vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India,SL vs IND
Former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni gives some tips to Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav during a practice session in Sri Lanka. Dhoni will be playing his 300th ODI when he takes the field against Sri Lanka cricket team in the fourth ODI in Colombo on Thursday.(PTI)

Chinaman bowlers are a rare species and Indian cricket team’s Kuldeep Yadav has, so far, maintained his shock value. On his Test debut against Australia in Dharamsala in March, his four wickets made a huge difference, giving India the winning momentum.

Brought back into the side for the third Test against Sri Lanka cricket team in Pallekele, Kuldeep took five wickets as India wrapped up the series with a three-day victory. He made an equally impressive ODI debut in the West Indies series, claiming eight wickets.

The 22-year-old, who looks set to get his first game in the series in Sri Lanka on Thursday, is eager to impress with wickets, and justify skipper Virat Kohli’s belief that wrist spinners will make the difference.

TAKING WICKETS

“It’s a bit difficult when you come from Test cricket to ODIs, the batsmen attack you more. In Test cricket you have to work harder to get wickets, but ODI cricket is also challenging as you only have 10 overs to bowl and the batsmen are taking chances against you,” he told reporters after practice at the Premadasa stadium on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli wants his bowlers to look for wickets, although he has asked the youngster to focus on improving fitness and work hard.

“My style isn’t about restricting runs,” he said. “If I try to restrict runs, I will probably end up conceding more. So, I look to take wickets so that the team benefits and the opposition also comes under pressure.

“My thought process is very simple. Taking wickets should be a habit for bowlers. If you are not taking wickets for the team, then you are a normal bowler in my opinion,” added Kuldeep. “You are not being of use to the team, if you take 2-3 wickets, it is only beneficial to the team. And my bowling style is such that I always looks to take wickets.”

LEARNING CURVE

Kuldeep believes the pitches in the Caribbean were slow but didn’t offer much turn while Sri Lankan pitches are better for batting. However, he believes he has come a long way since his India debut.

“In the last six months, I have learnt a lot, especially how you can handle pressure. As you face better batsmen, you will feel pressure and how you overcome that, these things you only learn when you play.

Kuldeep, though, will have to compete with left-arm spinner Axar Patel and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for a spot in the eleven.

“We have a lot of matches and there is competition for places, but you need to take it as a positive.”

He made his Test debut when Anil Kumble – India’s most successful spinner -- was coach and now Ravi Shastri – a left-arm spinner himself -- has taken charge. Kuldeep both discuss bowling plans the same way.

Asked what Virat Kohli has told him, Kuldeep said: “Actually Virat bhai keeps telling me to just work on my fitness, more than other things. It is good the skipper believes in me and in wrist spinners.”

The Uttar Pradesh bowler believes his fitness has improved a lot from the under-19 days.

DHONI MILESTONE

Thursday will be special for Kuldeep if he plays, as it will be former skipper MS Dhoni’s 300th ODI.

“There is no word to describe him. I’ve been talking to him about my bowling for the last six months. When I am playing a match, then also I keep talking to him as there is no one better to judge you because he is watching from behind the wicket.

“I feel very proud I am playing with him and very lucky I will be there in his 300th game.”

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 19:29 IST