Harbhajan Singh has backed his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) teammate Kuldeep Yadav to bounce back to form soon. The veteran off-spinner claimed he sees no problem with Kuldeep’s efforts, suggesting the under-fire spinner would fare well for both KKR and Team India.
Kuldeep Yadav has seen a dramatic dip in recent years, falling down Team India's pecking order. Although he has been a part of the India squad, the left-arm wrist-spinner has seen other tweakers get the nod ahead of him.
Harbhajan Singh spoke about Kuldeep Yadav’s form, putting the latter's struggles down to bad luck.
“There are times when you bowl good spells and yet you don’t get wickets. It happened with all the renowned bowlers. I don’t see anything wrong with Kuldeep. He has been a match-winner and I know he is going to come good for KKR and also Team India soon,” said Harbhajan.
After playing 81 games for India in his first three years of international cricket, Kuldeep Yadav has represented his nation in just 10 matches since the start of 2020. The 26-year-old went wicketless in the ODI series against England before the start of IPL 2021.
However, Harbhajan Singh isn’t too worried about Kuldeep Yadav’s form, stating the latter has gotten better with time, even if he doesn’t have the figures to show for it.
“When he entered the Indian team, no one taught him how to bowl. Whatever he did was his own merit reflecting in his bowling. The merit is still there and he has only gotten better with time,” added Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh excited to play for KKR in IPL 2021
Many found KKR’s decision to shell out ₹2 crore for Harbhajan Singh at the IPL 2021 Auction perplexing as they already had the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Kuldeep Yadav in their ranks.
But the veteran off-spinner started against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday and didn’t take long to justify his worth. Although Harbhajan Singh bowled just one over in the game, he agonizingly missed out on getting the prized wicket of David Warner, with Pat Cummins dropping the chance.
Harbhajan is likely to be used as a trump card by Eoin Morgan, and the off-spinner is pleased to turn out for his third IPL franchise.
“It’s been three-four years since I left Mumbai Indians. I was there with CSK for the last couple of years. But this season I am playing for Ami KKR, and I am going to do whatever I had been doing for MI and CSK, and even better to help KKR get the Cup. I am hoping this is my time to be in the purple form! So yeah, good to be in purple,” admitted Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh’s work ethic has impressed several KKR players. Kuldeep Yadav has already expressed his eagerness to learn from the legendary off-spinner, who admitted he is happy to don the mentor’s hat in IPL 2021.
"Whenever I see I need to chip in with my knowledge when it comes to talking to the spinners or even batters on how to play certain shots against the spinner, I do talk to them and try to contribute whatever way I can. I want to give it all I have to the team so that they can be better at their own game,” concluded Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh is set to face his former outfit when KKR take on the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.