Gautam Gambhir heaps praise on KKR teammate Kuldeep Yadav
Gambhir warned against placing too much expectations on the youngster's shoulders.
What’s the story?
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir was full of praise for his teammate Kuldeep Yadav following the left-arm wrist spinner’s impressive debut in the ongoing fourth Test between India and Australia at Dharamsala.
Hailing consistency in length as the 22-year-old’s biggest strength, Gambhir is hopeful that the youngster can continue representing the country in the coming years but also warned against putting too many expectations too soon on his shoulders.
“That kind of consistency for a wrist spinner is a massive quality to have,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo. “I am not surprised with what he did in the first innings at Dharamsala because he's got a great temperament.
“He started his Test career on a very good note and hopefully he can continue to the same way because people can talk too much about him. At times if you start talking too much about a young boy, you can stop enjoying the game.”
In case you didn’t know...
Kuldeep Yadav’s stature in Indian cricket has been steadily on the rise with his impressive performances in the Indian domestic circuit moving him up the pecking order as far the spinners was concerned.
The long-awaited call-up to the national side finally arrived at Dharamsala, and he made an instant impression picking up four wickets in the first innings to derail the Australian innings after the visitors had made a good start.
The heart of the matter
Having come into the team in place of the injured Virat Kohli, Kuldeep repaid coach Anil Kumble’s faith in him by dismissing the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and Peter Handscomb and helping India restrict the visitors to a score of 300 in the first innings.
Having seen Kuldeep up and close as skipper of the KKR franchise, Gambhir said that he was not surprised at the manner in which the chinaman bamboozled the Australian batsmen with his wizardry. The dangers of exposing him too much to the opposition is also a cause of concern though and the former Indian opener doesn’t want too much praise harming Kuldeep’s attitude in any manner.
Even though he failed to pick up any wickets during the second innings, the youngster can be proud of the part he played in what looks like a match heading in India’s favour with the Ajinkya Rahane-led side just 89 runs away from victory and thus reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
With the tenth edition of the IPL less than a fortnight away and the Gautam Gambhir-led side deciding to do away with Australia’s Brad Hogg, Kuldeep could very well be the mystery bowler for the Kolkata-based franchise. He is certain to add to his meagre tally of 3 IPL games so far and could play a crucial part in KKR’s chances in the absence of star all-rounder Andre Russell.
The confidence earned by his heroics in the Dharamsala Test and the opportunity to play under the guidance of the great Anil Kumble will most certainly help him ease into the IPL. With his mentor of sorts at KKR, Hogg, no longer a hindrance to his selection in the side, it is certain that Gambhir will provide more opportunities for the leg-spinner to fight it out against the best in the game.