New Delhi: Chinaman bowlers are becoming a rarity in India and world cricket, but KKR spinner Kuldeep Yadav is confident that more people will take it up after seeing him perform even though his craft is "very tough".
With only South Africa's Paul Adams and Australia's Brad Hogg coming to mind when the art of chinaman bowling -- left-arm wrist spin -- is discussed in world cricket, Kuldeep, who started off as a medium-pacer and only shifted to spin bowling on the insistence of his coach Kapil Pandey at the Kanpur Cricket Academy, believes the craft will certainly grow.
"Not many players try Chinaman bowling. I hope people give it a go after seeing me. Some say that it's very tough, yes, tough it is but I would say 'practice makes the man perfect'. I believe the world will see a lot of chinaman bowlers in the near future," Kuldeep told PTI in an interview.
West Indies' Sunil Narine played a big part in KKR becoming champions last season and Kuldeep is happy to share the dressing room with the impactful off-spinner. "Sunil Narine is no doubt among our premier spinners and a senior spinner in the team. I feel really honoured to be bowling with him. It also acts as a challenge to lift your game when a bowler at the other end is bowling well. We have bonded well as spinners of the team and have started to understand each other a lot," Kuldeep said.
The 20-year-old also opined that spin bowling plays a big part in T20 cricket. "It depends on the conditions, whether we heavily rely on the spinners or not. If we are playing an away game and it is a turning wicket then yes, we rely on our spinners, who as you must have seen, are top class. So if the opposition gets off to a quick start then the onus falls on the spinners to do the containing act and get wickets as well.
"So it always helps to good spinners in the team. In Kolkata, the ball comes a little slower onto the bat and there the spinners also come into play," he said. After making waves in the UAE when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, Kuldeep was bagged by KKR in 2014 February auctions post his two-year stint with Mumbai Indians.
The youngster is definitely looking to break into the bigger league. "It all depends on one's performance. We will just have to wait and see. Every tournament, every match is crucial in terms of getting forward in my career," he said.
Praising skipper Gautam Gambhir for backing youngsters, Kuldeep said he is blessed to play under the veteran Indian opener. "I feel happy and blessed to be playing under Gauti bhai. He is a very good human being. He not only backs the team but also supports all the youngsters in the side. I feel lucky to be playing under a leader who trusts your abilities. Even when I was not a part of KKR, he supported me and now ofcourse he keeps backing me to do well," he said.
Kuldeep also feels great to have the 'Sultan of Swing' Wasim Akram as the bowling coach of KKR. "I share a great rapport with Wasim bhai. I try and grasp whatever I can from his wealth of experience. I keep talking to him on the field, talking about his various experiences in his playing days. He is always happy to share his knowledge. "The talk is not really centered around bowling in particular, but he tells about how he would react to a particular situation and that really helps," he said.
Coming into IPL-8 on the back of a good domestic season, Kuldeep rued missing the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament knockouts but is happy to take the momentum forward into the popular T20 league.
"Look Syed Mushtaq Ali is a perfect lead up to the IPL as it gives the players a good T20 feel before the mega league kicks off. Yes, the spacing between the two tournaments can be improved but I guess the scheduling is such that it gives little scope for organisers to do something about it.
"The Ranji Trophy ends and then Syed Mushtaq Ali starts and then there is IPL. But I am happy about it and enjoying every bit of it." Knowing the importance of wielding the willow at the right time in the shortest format of the game, Kuldeep insists that he is working hard to be a handy batsman whenever the team requires his services.
"Obviously, batting plays a big part in T20 cricket. I am certainly improving my batting skills by the day, Recently I hit an 8-ball 20 not out in Syed Mushtaq Ali. Though in T20 cricket, the No.8 or 9 doesn't get much batting and if your No.9 is at the crease then it means the team is in trouble," he signed off.