Kuldeep Yadav is an Indian bowler who is nicknamed ‘Chinaman Bowler’ because of his bowling style. He was born on 14th December 1994 at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh in India.
He bowls left-arm slow chinaman and is capable of bowling cross seam deliveries which turn both sides, making it difficult for batsmen to pick his deliveries. Furthermore, he slows his deliveries when batsmen tend to attack, not allowing the ball to travel from the face of the bat.
Curiously, Yadav started out as a fast bowler when he joined a cricket academy in Kanpur. However, he was urged by his coach Kapil Pandey to give up on fast bowling and pursue a more uncommon bowling style of left-arm wrist spin.
He himself admitted that the adaptation of a new bowling style was not easy, and he took his time with it, but eventually realised that his new bowling style would bring him success.
He was picked up by the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians in 2012, but never made it to their playing eleven in his two year stint.
He signed with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, but was subjected to the same treatment. However, by 2016 his talent was too immense to ignore and he was rightfully given his chance.
He was selected to play for the Indian team in October 2014, against West Indies but didn’t feature in a single match. He made his debut almost three years later, on 25th March 2017 in a test match against Australia in Dharamshala.
He took four wickets in the first innings and India won the match by 8 wickets. His performance was rewarded as went to make his debut for national side in the limited overs format of ODI and Twenty20 in June and July respectively of the year.
Rise to Glory
He came into the fore when he became India’s leading wicket taker in the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup and finished as the joint second highest wicket taker in the tournament with 14 wickets in six games.
He was not able to bowl on his debut as the match was abandoned due to heavy rain.
After breaking into the national team in June 2017, he solidified his presence in the team with a hat-trick against Australia in a One Day International.
Yadav has been regularly plagued with the dilemma of non-selection and was often ignored by the selectors before he came into the fray with the national team, even at a very young age.
After four futile years in the IPL where he didn’t get to feature for either Mumbai Indians or KKR, he starred for the Knight Riders in the 2016 edition of IPL. He only played three matches but managed to get six wickets.
He is the third Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in One Day Internationals after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev. He is also only the third chinaman bowler to get four wickets on debut in Test cricket.