It was on India U-19's tour of Australia in April 2012 that the current Indian fielding coach, R Sridhar first praised the ability of Kuldeep Yadav.
"He is an extremely talented bowler. At the U-19 camps, many highly rated batsmen were bamboozled by him," was the first remark Sridhar made, when asked about Kuldeep back in April 2012.
Sridhar at the time also pointed out that despite having enormous potential, Kuldeep needed to focus on other key aspects of his game such as fitness and fielding to ensure he became a successful cricketer.
Straight to the nets
Eventually, Kuldeep only played a couple of matches on that Australian tour, but soon after returning to Mumbai, the youngster went to the Wankhede Stadium and began bowling to the likes of Pollard and Rohit Sharma in the nets.
Kuldeep told this writer after a training session: "I bowl and they just try whacking me out of the ground. A few times they get a top edge or the ball beats the bat.
"Once Pollard hit me into the stands, so the next ball, I flighted a wrong 'un. He missed it and would have been stumped. I was so happy, but a bit shy even to celebrate. Next ball he smashed one straight back at me and I just pulled my hand away, knowing if I tried catching it, my career might have been over!"