- All Rounder
- Nick name
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Batting style
- Left Hand Bat
- Bowling style
- Left-arm orthodox spin
- Current Team
- Indian Premier League 2016
- December 14, 1984
Kuldeep Yadav is a left-arm spinner who can bowl orthodox left-arm spin and the chinaman. After some notable performances in domestic cricket, Yadav slowly began growing into prominence because of his unique ability to pick wickets and a kind of bowling which was unknown territory to most Indian batsmen. The 19-year-old, who idolises Shane Warne, took up cricket accidentally, but is making the most of the opportunities coming his way. A medium-pacer to begin with, Yadav took to spin bowling after his coach insisted that he didn’t have the height to succeed as a medium-pacer. As a result, the Mumbai Indians were quick to sign him on for IPL 2012 and thereafter he joined the Kolkata Knight Riders because of the franchisees’ liking for unorthodox bowlers.
Kuldeep Yadav started as a fast bowler when he first joined a cricket academy in Kanpur, but was asked by his coach Kapil Pandey to switch to something much rarer – chinaman. The change wasn’t smooth – Kuldeep admitted that he had even cried once – but he soon realised bowling bowling spin was the way forward for him. And he was good at it too, having not only solid control over the length, but also a potent wrong’un among his variations.
There haven’t been too many bowlers of his ilk in India, with the most recent names in the international game all having come from Australia. Kuldeep, therefore, attracted immediate attention after successful stints at the Under-19 level.
Kuldeep played his first India U-19 game in April 2012 as a 17-year-old and and despite picking up wickets almost every time he played, he stayed below the radar. It was the 2014 edition of the U-19 World Cup in Dubai that pushed his stocks higher. After a wicketless spell in the opening game against Pakistan, Yadav picked up a hat-trick in the next game against Scotland. “As Kuldeep, mere ko wicket nikaalna hai (As Kuldeep, I knew I had to take wickets),” he said after the match.
He gained in stature in the games that followed, repeatedly troubling batsmen with his turn and finished with 14 wickets, the joint second-highest in the tournament. The performance seemed to justify why Kolkata Knight Riders’ scouts had forked out $66,000 for him in the IPL auction prior to the Under-19 World Cup.
Kuldeep had been part of the Mumbai Indians set-up in the 2012 season where he had a fond memory of bamboozling Sachin Tendulkar once in the nets with his wrong’un. That did not translate into an IPL debut. Nor did it happen with Knight Riders in the 2014 season. He had to wait until the Champions League where, playing as a support bowler to Sunil Narine, he impressed with his economy. Following those performances, he was included in India’s ODI squad for the series against West Indies in October 2014, and he made his first-class and List A debuts shortly after.
Indian Premier League 2016