Former India off-spinner Sarandeep Singh has opened up about Kuldeep Yadav's recent struggles. He opined that the left-arm wrist-spinner appears to be low on confidence at the moment, and asked him to find a support system which can motivate him constantly.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Singh stated that it's difficult for an outsider to ascertain what's going wrong with Kuldeep Yadav. He added that the decision to play Washington Sundar in the 4th Test against Australia even though the all-rounder wasn't part of the initial squad may not have been the right one.
"You need to look at how he's bowling in the nets, whether he's confident or not. We don't know what the atmosphere is like within the team, but it does seem like Kuldeep is struggling. The reason might be that he's a bit low on confidence."
"The decision to play Washington Sundar, who was a standby, ahead of Kuldeep Yadav in Australia was a bit questionable. Yes, Sundar did well. But if you were to think about the same decision before the match, what would you have done?"
Kuldeep Yadav needs good friends in the team who can motivate him: Sarandeep Singh
Singh stated that Kuldeep Yadav needs to find good friends who can help him keep his chin up while things aren't going according to plan. He added that Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri is and always has been adept at bringing the best out of his players.
"It's very important for you to find good friends in the team. You need good friends around you who'll always motivate you, pinch you when things are going wrong, and remind you that you need to work hard. This team has a character like Ravi Shastri, who has always been an excellent motivator."
The former India selector continued by saying that Kuldeep Yadav will get back to his best only when he starts planning meticulously for oppositions and situations. Singh cited the example of Ravichandran Ashwin, who puts a lot of thought into his plans against different batsmen.
"Spinners need confidence, and they get confidence from wickets. Ashwin, for example, he's the most intelligent bowler I see. That's why he gets a lot of bowling. Similarly, Kuldeep Yadav needs to be mentally strong. He needs to understand how to bowl according to the situation, which is what MS Dhoni helped him with when he was part of the team."
Kuldeep Yadav's career has been in free fall over the last year or so. He has picked up only 5 wickets over his last two Indian Premier League seasons, and is no longer a permanent member of the Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI.
Even with the Indian team, the 25-year-old has been overshadowed by the likes of Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal. It remains to be seen if Kuldeep will retain his place in the Test team for the upcoming pink-ball game against England in Ahmedabad.