Kuldeep Yadav attributes recent success to focusing on bowling length over wickets
Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav discusses his impressive performance in the Asia Cup, explaining that his success is a result of shifting his mindset from solely targeting wickets to concentrating on delivering the right length.
Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wrist-spinner, has been in exceptional form during this year’s Asia Cup, highlighted by his match-winning performances. After recording figures of 5-25 against Pakistan in a rain-affected Super Four match, Kuldeep followed it up with a remarkable spell of 4-43 against Sri Lanka, making him the leading wicket-taker for India in the Asia Cup.
Kuldeep attributed his recent success to a change in mindset, emphasizing the importance of delivering the right length rather than solely focusing on taking wickets. This transformation began when he returned to international cricket after recovering from a knee injury sustained during the second half of the IPL 2021 season in the UAE.
During his rehabilitation, Kuldeep received guidance from the team’s physiotherapist, who emphasized the need to reduce the load on his knee. Adjusting his approach, he worked on a quicker run-up and maintaining his angle without any hindrance to his knee.
Gradually, Kuldeep began concentrating on bowling straighter and achieving better rhythm. This adjustment didn’t happen overnight; it took approximately 5-6 months for him to regain his optimal bowling rhythm. He also acknowledged some challenges during the IPL, where he occasionally disrupted his rhythm and struggled with his footwork.
“Now it has become easier to bowl,” shared Kuldeep, emphasizing the importance of consistency in bowling length and gaining experience through more overs bowled. His primary focus has shifted from taking wickets to maintaining the right length in his deliveries.
Kuldeep also discussed his game plan when facing both left-handed and right-handed batsmen. He highlighted the significance of delivering good length deliveries and maintaining a consistent line. In limited-overs formats with white balls, providing batsmen with room to free their arms makes it easier for them to connect their shots. Kuldeep’s strategy revolves around keeping the batsmen locked and bowling at the stumps to restrict their scoring opportunities.
Responding to a question about India’s lack of an off-spinner in the side, Kuldeep clarified that he views himself as a classic leg-spinner despite bowling with his left hand. He stressed that his repertoire includes variations and a googly, eliminating the need for an off-spinner. Kuldeep believes that a team doesn’t require multiple spinners if it has two high-quality spin bowlers.
His approach reflects his confidence in his skills as a leg-spinner and the balance that can be achieved within the team’s composition with two quality spinners.