Kuldeep Yadav will once again turn out for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021. After struggling on the international stage in recent years, the left-arm spinner hopes to make an impact in the T20 league, having worked on a "few things".
Kuldeep Yadav will head into IPL 2021 on the back of a poor outing against England. He didn't feature in the T20 series and went wicketless during the ODI leg.
Kuldeep Yadav, whose economy rate was 8 against England in the ODIs, spoke to IANS about his IPL goals for the season.
“The IPL will definitely be challenging because it is a T20 format and the games happen frequently. I have to keep myself prepared so that whenever I get a chance, I can perform. I have worked on a few things after the [recent] series [vs England] and I will keep my focus on those things. Accuracy, putting the ball in one place, is very important,” Kuldeep Yadav said.
Kuldeep Yadav played just five games for KKR last year, picking up a solitary wicket. Varun Chakravarthy replaced him as the franchise's frontline spinner, ending IPL 2020 with 17 wickets to his name.
KKR have one of the most diverse spin attacks in IPL 2021. In addition to Chakravarthy, they have the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine, who offer something with the bat as well. The arrival of Harbhajan Singh prompted skipper Eoin Morgan to claim that KKR have one of the best spin attacks this season.
Discussing his lack of playing time, Kuldeep Yadav took the competition in his stride. He is confident about giving his all whenever called upon in IPL 2021.
“KKR’s spin department must be the best in the IPL, and the good thing for the team is that there are a lot of options to pick from. KKR have variety and they can pick bowlers according to the situation, pitch etc. I have never been worried about getting into the playing XI. If the team management thinks Kuldeep is needed, I will play. But yes, I want to play. Getting into the playing XI is the management’s decision. As a player and an individual, you have to think about giving your 100 per cent in the field,” added Kuldeep.
Kuldeep Yadav eager to learn from Harbhajan Singh
Kuldeep Yadav will share the dressing room with legendary off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The 40-year-old has 711 international wickets and 150 IPL scalps to his name, and Kuldeep is keen to learn from the iconic spinner.
“I will also get to learn and gain experience. I have spoken to Bhajju pa (Harbhajan Singh). I am very excited to meet him and learn from him. I will spend two months with him. He has been a big player and has played so much international cricket. The experience he carries will definitely be very useful. I will keep talking to him and look to gain whatever experience I can by staying close to him,” explained Kuldeep.
With two T20 World Cups on the horizon, Kuldeep Yadav will target a successful IPL 2021 campaign to resurrect his international career.